Jaguar Racing today retains its much deserved seventh place in the 2004 Formula One World Championship, beating close competitor Toyota by one point after a closely fought season. Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber (28) and Christian Klien (21)...
Jaguar Racing today retains its much deserved seventh place in the 2004 Formula One World Championship, beating close competitor Toyota by one point after a closely fought season. Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber (28) and Christian Klien (21) made clean starts in today's last race of the season and were in 9th and 7th place respectively by lap 4.
After an attempt by Mark to overtake his team-mate on lap 24 left his car damaged he was forced to retire. Christian's car was unaffected as he went on to finish the race in fourteenth position.
The 2004 season is the last for the team as Jaguar Racing as they retire from the sport after five years. The last two years has witnessed the team develop under the leadership of David Pitchforth and Tony Purnell and it is with great sadness that the garage doors close today after such a staunch attempt to keep them open and racing while flying the flag of the British Green livery.
"My start off the grid today was ok although it was short lived as I entered corner one and I was forced to avoid the Renault of Villeneuve as he ran wide. This lost me four or five places and was of course frustrating. I was planning on making my way up the grid and I managed this for the first few laps as I was in 9th position by lap four."
"I then pitted for new tyres and lost some time as I had to queue up behind Christian. We were back out quick enough and I started racing again and went to overtake Christian on lap 24. Unfortunately we tangled as he appeared not to see me coming and that was the end of my race. A sad end to what should have been a more rewarding race."
"I have had an amazing two years with Jaguar Racing and I am fortunate enough to have had the pleasure to work with some incredibly talented people during this time. I have learnt a lot and shared a lot and it is with a heavy heart that not only do I leave the team but that the team is to close as Jaguar Racing. I have a lot of people to thank, amongst them, the team for their support and belief in me, Cosworth Racing and Pi Research and of course Michelin. All round a pretty good bunch of guys!"
"I made a good start and the beginning of the race was fun for me to drive. I was on intermediate tyres and had a good line into the first few corners and managed to overtake a few people. My first pit-stop was a bit too late and I lost a couple of positions after that. I was then following the two Toyotas but had no opportunity to overtake."
"Mark was coming closer to me and I saw him in my mirror but I did not think he was close enough to overtake but he tried it and we collided. The remainder of my race saw my car not as well balanced as it should have been and although the car was ok for the remainder of the race it was not as easy to drive."
"There was also a lot of blue flags and although I tried my best and I am pleased to have finished my last race with Jaguar Racing, I am disappointed with the outcome as both Mark and I were in good positions. I have had a fantastic season with the team and I have enjoyed every moment. They are great fun to work with and they have helped me so much during this time. I would like to thank them all."
Dr Mark Gillan -- Head of Vehicle Performance:
"This weekend has been a good reliable and productive weekend for us at Jaguar Racing, highlighted by Mark and Christian qualifying successfully at what is one of the most challenging tracks on the Formula One calendar. Mark's start was encouraging although his race was cut short after an unsuccessful attempt to overtake his team-mate Christian. Mark's car was damaged to the extent that he was forced to retire."
"Christian made a good start and by lap 4 was in seventh position. He drove a strong and determined race in difficult conditions and brought the car home in fourteenth position. The mechanics and engineers have prepared for this race with the same focus that they showed for Melbourne. The R5 has over the course of this year developed into a reliable, well-balanced and competitive car that has allowed us to compete with the best at some of the toughest tracks in the world."
"I am extremely proud of the level of improvement and overall performance evolution of Jaguar over the last couple of years - due to a combination of determination, professionalism and technical expertise. I would like to thank Cosworth Racing, Pi Research, our partners and in particular Michelin, whose help and advice has been fundamental to the success of the team".
David Pitchforth -- Managing Director, Jaguar Racing:
"Today marks the end of Jaguar Racing in Formula One. Since taking over responsibility for the team in late 2002 as Managing Director I have seen this team grow from strength to strength and during this time I have had the pleasure of working with talented, focused and incredibly motivated people."
"As a team we have worked together to make Jaguar Racing one of the most efficient and effective teams in terms of bang per buck in Formula One today. That could only ever have been achieved with the support of the people that work in the team, our sister companies - Cosworth Racing and Pi Research, our partners and suppliers and of course our dedicated and unwavering sponsors."
"I am proud of what we have all achieved in such a short period of time and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the team and drivers, Mark, Christian and Bjorn for their steadfast support, untiring good humour and for really making Jaguar Racing the amazing team that it is today".
Tony Purnell -- CEO of the Premier Performance Division (Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Research):
"The remarkable spirit of Jaguar Racing has been highlighted this weekend by the number of compliments I have received from other teams, media and sponsors praising the unswerving motivation and good humour that the team has portrayed over the last few races. I am honestly inspired by the attitude of this team that has rallied round to split the Ferraris on the grid in Malaysia, fight the BMW-Williams in Hockenheim and beat the McLarens in Bahrain."
"The men and women of Jaguar Racing have achieved more in the last two years than we thought possible and they give every other team on the grid a run for their money when it comes to commitment and loyalty. Cosworth Racing and Pi Research have contributed to this success every step of the way and we owe them a great thanks. Our tyre partner Michelin has become a close ally over these two years and our progress was not achieved without their tremendous skill and advice."
"My final thanks goes to our sponsors without whom none of what we have achieved would have been possible. We have here today a team that epitomises what Formula should be about, team-spirit, hard-work and pure grit determination, surely a winning combination. I would also like to say that on behalf of Jaguar the last five seasons of the sport have been more than valuable to the brand. Jaguar has a magnificent motorsport heritage and one that deserves to live on as there is no doubt that racing and winning are and should be synonymous with Jaguar.