This weekend sees the grand prix circus make its annual pilgrimage to Silverstone, the track that hosted the first ever GP back in 1950. Eddie Irvine is not one of F1's sentimentalists, and although the Northamptonshire track is the home circuit...
This weekend sees the grand prix circus make its annual pilgrimage to Silverstone, the track that hosted the first ever GP back in 1950. Eddie Irvine is not one of F1's sentimentalists, and although the Northamptonshire track is the home circuit for Jaguar Racing, he treats it as just another race.
"This is not as much of a home race for me as people think, as I didn't spend that much time racing here in the early days," he said. "Last month's test didn't do me any favours as I hurt my neck after just one lap. The injury was treated and I raced at the Nurburgring and Magny-Cours without any problems. At Monza this week, however, I felt a slight pain in my neck again after a few laps and as a precautionary measure, I decided to retire from the three-day test.
"Time is the best healer and I don't anticipate any problems at all as far as the British Grand Prix is concerned. I know this track well and it's interesting enough with Becketts being the most challenging corner. With the area being so flat, wind can affect the handling of the car in different ways at different parts of the circuit and you have to be ready for that. The only problem is a lack of overtaking opportunities."
In the past two GPs, in race trim at least, the R2 has been the match for anything on the track, with the exception of the Ferraris, Williams' and McLarens. Jaguar Racing has a few more aero tweaks in the pipeline for this weekend's race, and Eddie hopes that these will enable him to move up the order and add to his tally of four points.
"A good aero package and balance is the key ingredient here and although we are making progress in this area, I don't think Silverstone will turn out to be one of our better tracks. Nonetheless, you can't but help absorb the terrific atmosphere and come race day, there will be over 200,000 'mad-for-it' Brits making their presence felt. Among them will be many friends, family and of course, the workforce from Jaguar Racing. While a podium finish is a very tall order here, I intend to race in the same aggressive manner that I have done so far this season -- it should be quite entertaining for the British fans."