Morning mist at the Spa Francorchamps circuit forced officials to delay today's free practice by one hour because of safety concerns about flying the medical helicopter - not an unusual problem at this circuit given its location in the Ardennes ...
Morning mist at the Spa Francorchamps circuit forced officials to delay today's free practice by one hour because of safety concerns about flying the medical helicopter - not an unusual problem at this circuit given its location in the Ardennes valley. A shortened first session of 30 minutes got under way at midday while the afternoon session went ahead at the normal time for the usual 60 minutes.
Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa were hammered with minor technical hiccups but nonetheless made the most of the two sessions with Pedro completing a best lap time of 1.48.902 securing him 7th place after 18 laps. Eddie ran for 16 laps to place him 9th with a best time of 1.51:202. Apart from new components on the front suspension, there are no significant modifications to the Jaguar R3 this weekend.
Niki Lauda CEO and Team Principal
"We could have done with more running today but for one reason and another, we have been limited to a total of 34 laps between both drivers. The car seems to be performing better here than it has done at other circuits but we must wait until tomorrow to understand fully our level of competitiveness."
"Spa puts far more emphasis on aerodynamics than the last few circuits we have raced at and given the absence of slow corners here, our package seems to be performing relatively better. We haven't experienced any issues on the tyre front and apart from a few correctable problems, we are in reasonable shape going into tomorrow's decisive qualifying session."
Pedro de la Rosa
"A frustrating morning which has cost us valuable lap time. My morning stint suffered because of troubles with my throttle pedal and things got worse when I encountered a misfire problem. Nothing that I would classify as serious issues, but we have not taken full advantage of the track time on offer. The limited running that I did manage was quite promising in that the car seems better suited to this circuit than the tight, twisty circuits we have raced at recently. The weather will always play a critical role in determining the outcome tomorrow and it goes without saying that we do not need rain."
"I lost a lot of running today because of the shortened session and mainly because of a brake balance issue which was making the car a real handful to drive. I also suffered from a misfire problem and with taking everything into account, we have still quite some work ahead of us before tomorrow. We are certainly not as quick as the timesheets would lead you to believe, but we aren't that slow either."
"The Michelin tyre seems to be in good shape and we'll have to see where we come out in the wash tomorrow. We'll have to take full advantage of tomorrow's warm-up sessions in an effort to compensate for today's mileage shortage. Losing track time isn't a problem when you have no issues but is a double-disaster when you are trying to fix problems and beat the clock."
Pedro de la Rosa
Best time: 1.48.902 Laps: 18
Best time: 1.49.222 Laps: 16