Triple world champion Niki Lauda arrives in Spa Francorchamps this weekend as Jaguar Racing's newly appointed Team Principal. After thirteen rounds of the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship, Jaguar Racing stands 9th in the Constructors ...
Triple world champion Niki Lauda arrives in Spa Francorchamps this weekend as Jaguar Racing's newly appointed Team Principal. After thirteen rounds of the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship, Jaguar Racing stands 9th in the Constructors Championship and with only four races left, the need to move up the order is becoming ever-pressing.
Niki Lauda - Team Principal
"It will take me some time to completely understand the requirements of running a modern-day Formula One team and with that in mind, you will not see a noticeable difference in this team's performance over the next four races. We will, of course, work very hard to ensure that we grab whatever points are available, but my presence will not manifest itself immediately on the race track. We have a very good team of people working at Jaguar Racing and I do not want to disrupt their rhythm. The Jaguar R2's last development phase was up until the Hungarian Grand Prix and we will not have any significant developments from here on. Spa will be tough on us and we'll have to fight every inch of the way to be in with a points-scoring chance. Spa is famous for fast corners and wet weather - not our favourite conditions to say the least!"
"I know it goes against the general view about this circuit, but I am not a huge fan of the Spa Francorchamps track: give me Suzuka any day. I appreciate the fact it is a real road circuit with plenty of fast corners, but speed alone is not very challenging. On top of that, it is a dangerous place when it rains. For Spa you need a well-balanced car and braking is important for the tight sections like the hairpin and the chicane which provide a couple of overtaking opportunities. You also need plenty of power for the long climb after Eau Rouge. We had two productive days testing at Silverstone last week, where I feel we made useful progress, particularly in qualifying trim, which, as I've said time and again, is our weak point. But testing and racing are two different things, so we will have to wait until Saturday afternoon to see if that progress is genuine or not."
Pedro de la Rosa "Spa will be a difficult race for us because of the nature of this circuit and the unpredictable weather conditions. Low downforce configuration has not exactly been our strength this year, but we made some useful steps forward at our Silverstone test last week. The team has done a brilliant job all year in extracting pace from the aero package and with so little left to extract now, we must rely on getting the absolute best from our qualifying performance in Spa. It's a daunting place at the best of times and should it be wet, our mountain will become an even-steeper one to climb. The balance of the car has been good all season and that's a critical factor which we have in our favour this weekend." ....more/