Herbert: â€œWeâ€™re not disappointedâ€ Johnny bullish after 12th place at Silverstone Character building would be one way to decribe a difficult first British GP for Jaguar Racing, but there was some comfort to be drawn from a difficult day.
Herbert: “We’re not disappointed”
Johnny bullish after 12th place at Silverstone Character building would be one way to decribe a difficult first British GP for Jaguar Racing, but there was some comfort to be drawn from a difficult day. While a variety of problems conspired to keep them outside the top, Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine both made the finish for the second consecutive race. The team appears to have got on top of its earlier reliability problems, and now the details needed to be sorted out and a few frustrating gremlins chased away.
As in previous races, both drivers were hampered by problems with the clutch at the start, which cost them a few places. With passing almost impossible at Silverstone, they had no chance to make any progress up the order. Then just as they seemed to be heading for the lower reaches of the top 10, the engines of both R1s died in the second and final pitstops. Valuable seconds and positions went to waste.
At the end of a tough afternoon, Johnny claimed 12th, a place and just 2.9 seconds ahead of his team mate.
"Both of us got bad starts, and we need to fix that first," said Johnny. "Here you just get stuck behind people. I had a couple of chances to be on my own and go much quicker, and then get stuck behind them again. After my lost stop, when the engine died. We lost time. I would probably have got in front of Alesi and Diniz, but because of that I didn't. When I went out I was on my own, but I caught Pedro and got stuck behind him again, which just makes the race a little bit frustrating."
Eddie Irvine lost three places at the start, and from then on he was up against it. Like everyone else, he could make no progress in the traffic jam, and then the engine cut-out at the final stop dragged it out to an agonising 25 seconds.
"I had another clutch problem at the start, similar to the one we had in Imola, which is something we have to sort out," said Eddie. "As for the second pit stop, I engaged neutral and the engine just cut out. It could be that it is related to the new pit limiter system, but we will have to investigate it. It's difficult to understand why the car is so good in qualifying but a handful in the race. I have a few ideas, but until we get some quality testing done we won't really identify the problem areas and find a fix."
Technical director Gary Anderson found himself with a lengthy job list at the end of afternoon, and work on solving the problems will start straight away.
"It's been bad because everything sort of headed off in the wrong direction. We got a bad start, and then it was just a train going round. There were six cars at the front motoring along merrily, and that was it. We've got to get out starts sorted. There's something wrong there. We've practised them and got some good ones, but whenever it counts it doesn't work. So I don't know what it is. We've got a lot of good data from here, so we'll have a look at it.
"We've still got this sensitivity issue where the car seems too nervous on corner entries. We've got to look at it really. It's not necessarily an aero issue, but I'm sure that's part of it. So we need to do a lot more wind tunnel work.
"Then at the second stop both of them stopped for some reason. That shouldn't happen, so there's something wrong there, so we'll have to have a look."
Despite the dramas, Gary remained philosophical.
"But we have to look at the positive side. The negatives are there and they happened, but the positive thing is they both finished again. But it's probably better to get a smack in the teeth line this than to scratch a point at the end of it and think you're a hero. That's not we need at the moment; we need a lot of points. Hopefully Barcelona next week will be a reasonable test."