The Jaguar Racing team travel to Brazil this week to contest the final round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship. This will be the first time the race has been held at the Interlagos circuit at this time of year, traditionally having...
The Jaguar Racing team travel to Brazil this week to contest the final round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship. This will be the first time the race has been held at the Interlagos circuit at this time of year, traditionally having been nearer the start of the season, so the unpredictable weather could offer a few surprises.
Since the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, the Jaguar Racing team have successfully completed a productive three-day test at Jerez, Spain. As design and development of the 2005 car continues, test-driver Bjorn Wirdheim completed over 280 problem-free laps in a development chassis.
As the team goes to Brazil for the final race of the season, and the final race for Jaguar Racing, the motivation and commitment within the team remains high. With only one point between Jaguar Racing and Panasonic Toyota Racing, the team are determined to fight to defend their current position in 7th place in the 2004 FIA Constructors Championship.
"It's certainly different going to Brazil for the last race of the season rather than one of the first. But it's a circuit that always provides us with a good race, and I am sure this weekend will be no different."
"I spoke to some of the Brazilian drivers in Japan and they said the weather there at this time of the year is quite similar to what they have in March, so it'll be something to look out for, as it could be quite tropical.The Interlagos track suited our car quite well last year, so we will be working hard over the weekend to get the R5 set-up well and to get some good results."
"There are so many reasons why it would be nice to finish the season strongly, not least of all because it's the last race for the team under the Jaguar Racing banner and of course my last race with the team. It's also important we try to stay ahead of Toyota in the championship and if Christian and I can both have a trouble-free weekend, I can see no reason why both of us can't be in the points."
"It is hard to believe we are approaching the final Grand Prix of the season, and the last race of my first year in Formula One. It has been an incredible year, and I have really enjoyed working with the team, both away at the races and back at the factory in Milton Keynes. It is a great team, and I know everyone is pushing hard preparing for the Brazilian Grand Prix, where I will be doing all I can to fight for some all important final points."
"Interlagos is a new circuit for me, and one I am really looking forward to. Personally I have been a great fan of Ayrton Senna since I was much younger, so I am really excited to have the chance to drive at his home Grand Prix. After the last race in Japan, I have been at home in Austria, concentrating on fitness training in the Austrian Alps. I hope that we can get some points this weekend which the whole team really deserve."
"Since returning from Japan I have completed a three-day test in Jerez, Spain, with the team. It was a busy three days, I drove over 280 trouble-free laps in total. We successfully completed our test programme working on developments for next year's car and we achieved some good results. I am now looking forward to going to Brazil for the final race weekend."
"Interlagos was the first track I raced at in F3000 and has some good memories for me. I like the circuit, it is a little bit different as it is anti-clockwise. The track is very bumpy, and I have been told it is quite physically demanding - I didn't find this in F3000 but of course it will be different in an F1 car. I will be working on set-up and tyre work on Friday, and hope to get some good results to help the team."
David Pitchforth - Managing Director:
"As we go to Brazil, the final Grand Prix of the 2004 season, and the last race for the team as Jaguar Racing, team morale is still high - everyone has the pride and motivation to complete the season with style in order that we finish well and impress our future owner."
"We are working hard to continue to develop next year's car and the team's facilities as we go through the sales process. The recent test at Jerez was very encouraging, as we are making good progress with components and developments for next year."
"We have a fantastic group of people working inside Jaguar Racing and their response to the announcement that the team is to be sold by Ford Motor Company has been nothing less than outstanding. This is a good team, one that was on the verge of doing something great in F1, and I have no doubt that our staff are our strongest asset."
"We are hopeful for a good result this weekend, the car did relatively well in Brazil last year and the R5 has shown what is capable of, so it would be just reward for the team's hard work to see some well deserved points."
Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance:
"In Japan it was evident that the pace of the car was impressive and that made the failure which led to Mark's retirement all the more disappointing. After the race it became apparent that an internal cockpit chassis fixing had come loose, which led to hot air from the engine entering the cockpit and heating Mark's seat to a point which became unbearable for him to continue. We have re-designed this feature to prevent a repeat of this failure and fortunately Mark is fine for the Brazilian race weekend."
"Following the pace we showed in Japan we hope to capitalise on our recent performance at Interlagos, Brazil, which is my favourite circuit of the season. It normally produces good quality races, often due to the unpredictability of the weather - as we saw last year - when it rains it really rains!"
"The track, which is at a relatively high altitude, has a reasonably flat aeroscan profile requiring medium to high rear wing settings, that can result in large discrepancies in car's end of straight speeds, which in turn creates good overtaking opportunities at the end of turn one. It is quite a physically demanding track for the drivers due to the bumpy track surface and numerous left-hand corners."
"Last year's car, the R4, went well at Interlagos in both wet and dry conditions, qualifying on Friday in pole and on Saturday in P3, just 5/100ths off of pole. We will be working hard over the weekend along with Cosworth Racing and Michelin to ensure that both cars are as well set up as is possible, and it would be great to see the R5 score some points here."