Irvine impresses with sixth place on grid Boost for team as Eddie makes his way towards the front row... Eddie Irvine gave the Jaguar Racing team a boost by taking sixth place in qualifying for the Brazilian GP, one better than he managed in...
Irvine impresses with sixth place on grid
Boost for team as Eddie makes his way towards the front row... Eddie Irvine gave the Jaguar Racing team a boost by taking sixth place in qualifying for the Brazilian GP, one better than he managed in Melbourne.
Luck played a part as Eddie got his quick lap in before the rain came and made the last quarter of the session a washout. The field was tightly bunched, and less than 0.1s separated Eddie from the four cars immediately behind him.
Johnny Herbert had the opposite kind of luck, and was one of many drivers who did not get a decent run in before the track was soaked. Johnny had to settle for 17th place, 0.825s down on his team-mate. Herbert lost some track time in the morning practice session with a fuel pump problem, but otherwise the two cars had a trouble-free day.
After the session Eddie admitted that he was lucky to have stayed ahead of the midfield pack.
"It's close isn't it! I could be a tenth slower and looking a complete idiot. To be honest we probably have a little bit of an edge on the others, which is why we're ahead of them. But it is very close.
"The car has still got the same problems; there's a lot of grip I can't use because of the balance. There's too much difference between the entry and exit of the corners - that's the problem."
Eddie is not worried about the team's relative lack of knowledge of race conditions, following the early retirements in Australia.
"It doesn't matter - we'll see tomorrow. Hopefully I can beat Fisichella. Maybe the Jordans can be quicker, but there's not much in it to be honest. We've been so close to them in testing."
"I'm disappointed because this morning it didn't look so bad," said Johnny. "I was expecting to gain a lot more time in the mid-section, which I never seemed to do. Just comparing myself with Eddie it seems I lost a bit of time under braking in a couple of places, which at the moment seems to be my major problem."
Jackie Stewart agreed that fortune had favoured Eddie. "I think it would have been tough to hold that place, but we could have done it. It's all very close in that little window of time - there are five or six cars that could have all been in that slot. But I said that we had a good chance of being in the top six if we got everything running. We've had some problems here, but not on the same scale as Melbourne."