Jaguar Racing's solid performance over the whole weekend was rewarded with a precious championship point today as Eddie Irvine crossed the finishing line in 6th place at the Belgian Grand Prix. Pedro de la Rosa was unfortunate not to have finished...
Jaguar Racing's solid performance over the whole weekend was rewarded with a precious championship point today as Eddie Irvine crossed the finishing line in 6th place at the Belgian Grand Prix. Pedro de la Rosa was unfortunate not to have finished after suffering from what appeared to be a suspension failure six laps from the end. Pedro was in 8th place when he retired.
Eddie and Pedro started the race in 8th and 11th places respectively and maintained their positions throughout the race until the pit-stop strategies were employed from lap fifteen onwards. The revised Jaguar R3 performed relatively better at Spa Francorchamps than it has done recently and the team will now prepare for the Italian Grand Prix with a three-day test at Monza next week with both Eddie and Pedro sharing duties.
Niki Lauda -- CEO and Team Principal
"A very impressive all-round performance, especially from Eddie. Both drivers, however, performed well and maintained their places through the first corner, La Source, which isn't easy. We have been encouraged all weekend with the performance of the Jaguar R3 and combined with great support from Michelin, the package has rewarded us all with a championship point. Pedro also drove a very strong race and it is disappointing not to have seen his hardwork rewarded with a finish. We are not 100% sure at this stage, but his retirement appears to have been forced by a rear suspension failure."
"Given the strength of the top three teams and the challenges of this circuit, I am delighted by the conclusion to this race weekend and it's just reward for the very hard work that is going into this programme by everyone back at Milton Keynes. We have three races left on the calendar and we will now aim to take full advantage from what we have learned this weekend."
"My start was quite reasonable and I didn't lose any places going into or coming out of the tight first corner. The aim from there on was to maintain position and preserve the tyres. I did my best to keep up with Trulli in 7th place, but he just kept getting further and further away from me. Salo was then threatening me from behind and I kept my foot down and pushed as hard as possible. We did everything right this weekend from qualifying well to our race preparation and strategy. The car felt pretty good throughout the race and caused me no real problems."
"It wasn't the most exciting race I have ever had, but it just highlights the importance of qualifying well. Our race pace was very good and very comparable to Williams and McLaren over the 44 laps of this race. The next three races should be interesting and I am particularly looking forward to Monza and Suzuka where we hope to demonstrate a similar level of performance."
Pedro de la Rosa
"I have mixed feelings about the final result in that I am delighted for the team in getting a point, but disappointed with having to retire. The car has felt good all weekend and suffered no problems apart from minor niggles on Friday. Our preparation has been thorough and given the strong race pace, it is all the more disappointing to retire. With only six laps to go until the end, I felt the rear of the car snap with that appears to be a rear suspension failure. The team scoring a point, however, is the main thing to take away from the weekend and we will now look at taking this further over the next three races."
Best time: 1:50.829
Pedro de la Rosa
Best time: 1:50.21