A tricky Qualifying session for Jaguar Racing compounded by a problem which forced Eddie Irvine to switch to the T-Car that had been prepared for Pedro de la Rosa. On his second hot lap Eddie reported that something had broken on his car at the ...
A tricky Qualifying session for Jaguar Racing compounded by a problem which forced Eddie Irvine to switch to the T-Car that had been prepared for Pedro de la Rosa. On his second hot lap Eddie reported that something had broken on his car at the Beckets complex so he used the spare car for his third and final runs. Eddie was happy with the T-Car and although he would have liked to have been further up the grid, he was not too disappointed with 15th position. Pedro de la Rosa had a trouble-free session and improved his position on every run to finish in 13th place. The team knows that its Jaguar R2 is competitive in race trim and with changeable weather conditions likely at Silverstone, the chance of a points finish has certainly not been ruled out.
Pedro de la Rosa
"That was a pleasing Qualifying session and the increasing track temperature certainly helped our cause. The car felt well balanced throughout and I think that's the closest we have ever been to the top Michelin runners. The new aero package is definitely a step-forward and because we hadn't even done a proper test with it, I'm sure there's more pace to extract from it -- something we will work on next week at the Monza test. I could maybe have squeezed an extra tenth from my last run, but Bernoldi slowed me up on the exit of the Hanger straight. There's a positive mood in the camp and as always, we will be looking to exploit our strong race pace tomorrow."
"We have never been that close to the BMW Williams boys before and I'm encouraged by that. There's no point in benchmarking our package to the pole position time and the best yardstick of our development has to be the top Michelin runners. It could have been better if I hadn't switched to the T-car. Not only was it set-up for Pedro, but it didn't have the latest elements of the new aero package either. Combine that with the fact that I missed the last two tests and I'm sure I could have got into the 22-second bracket. As for the problem with my car, it's been diagnosed as a push-rod failure on the front left -- same problem as Montoya I believe. Nonetheless, I feel quite positive about the package we have right now and as we've proved in recent races, you can't rule the Jaguars out of points contention from where we are starting."
Bobby Rahal, CEO
"This is the best performance we've had at Silverstone which as many people know, isn't our favourite circuit. The BMW Williams cars are usually further up the pecking order and on that basis, we too would have been further up the grid when you consider that we're a second off them now -- quite an improvement when you think back to where we were a few races ago. Scoring points from 13th and 15th place is no easy task but it's not impossible either."