Jaguar Racing drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa gave the team a much needed boost today by producing the best qualifying performances of the season so far. A dry and sunny Spa Francorchamps circuit offered near perfect conditions for the...
Jaguar Racing drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa gave the team a much needed boost today by producing the best qualifying performances of the season so far. A dry and sunny Spa Francorchamps circuit offered near perfect conditions for the Michelin shod Jaguar R3 and after a tense and close battle between the Jaguar drivers, Eddie Irvine qualified in 8th place for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix while Pedro followed in 11th place. Both drivers reported no problems with the Jaguar R3 and look forward to racing tomorrow in what will no doubt be an unpredictable race given the temperamental weather patterns.
Niki Lauda -- CEO and Team Principal
"We were expecting both cars to qualify in the top twelve today, but Eddie went one step further and produced a brilliant last lap to earn himself 8th place on the grid for tomorrow's race. The Jaguar R3 has been performing reasonably well all weekend and given that we didn't achieve much mileage yesterday, our qualifying performance today is all the more pleasing and impressive. Michelin have obviously done their homework for this race and combined with the much-needed dry conditions, the drivers delivered a very solid performance."
"It's no secret that we have had a difficult season and given the opportunity presented to us, we must now look at taking full advantage of the race tomorrow. Points have been desperately hard to come by all season and the main reason has been not qualifying high enough. Both drivers and the team did an excellent job today and a point or two would be just reward for the relentless hard work that's been going on back at the factory in Milton Keynes. Nonetheless, this is a very unpredictable circuit and the weather patterns are renowned for throwing up surprises. Subsequently, it's impossible to say how things are going to shape up tomorrow."
"We had a feeling going into qualifying that we could get it together and deliver a respectable performance. I had suffered no problems or hold-ups on any of my laps and while I could have got more time out of sector three, I don't think it would have made any difference to the overall qualifying position. We have certainly gone quicker than even we expected and all credit must go to Michelin for producing a good compound. The race, however, will be very tough and as always, the weather will inevitably play a part."
"Nonetheless, we have today earned the best qualifying performance of the season so far and we must now aim to capitalise on it. After such a difficult season, we now find ourselves at the sharp end and I will be looking to put on a good fight tomorrow. The car felt pretty well balanced throughout and felt like it could deliver the lap time almost immediately. The team must also be credited for doing a great job and let's hope I can repay them tomorrow with a similar performance and who knows, maybe even a point."
Pedro de la Rosa
"A good qualifying session for the team but if I am honest, I am a little disappointed in myself for not doing a slightly better job. The car felt very well balanced and my first two runs were encouraging. I didn't need to make any major changes to the car mid-session and going into the last two runs, I was optimistic of doing better. In the end, my time did not improve because I locked the front wheels going into La Source during my third effort and I also aborted my final run because of a mistake I made at the end of sector three. Nevertheless, we are very well-placed to go racing tomorrow and that in itself is long overdue."
Best time: 1:45.865
Pedro de la Rosa
Best time: 1:46.056