European Grand Prix : Qualifying NÃ¼rburgring - 23 June 2001 Weather: Warm, broken cloud, dry, air temperature 22 degrees, track temperature 14 degrees A steadily rising track temperature throughout today's one hour qualifying session...
European Grand Prix : Qualifying
Nürburgring - 23 June 2001
Weather: Warm, broken cloud, dry, air temperature 22 degrees, track temperature 14 degrees
A steadily rising track temperature throughout today's one hour qualifying session persuaded the Jaguar Racing team to leave its last hot laps until the very death of the proceedings, albeit being spoiled by a late yellow flag. Eddie Irvine was able to hus tle his Jaguar R2 into 12th position for tomorrow's race while Pedro de la Rosa achieved 16th position. Eddie performed strongly to the extent that it got him within a couple of tenths off eighth place thereby reinforcing the team's recent aerodynamic developments. Eddie's time is also 1.6 seconds off the pole position time - the closest the team has been all year apart from Monaco. Unfortunately, Pedro was unable to find an optimum set-up and was also hindered by understeer difficulties. The team, however, is pleased with its R2 in race trim and knows that a third consecutive points finish this season might not be such a distant hope if its drivers can steer clear of trouble and unreliability issues. <pre> Eddie Irvine Position: 12th Best time 1.16.588 Chassis: R2-04 </pre> "There was maybe another tenth to be squeezed out of my qualifying time but no more. The team worked very hard overnight and this morning in an effort to better adapt the car to this circuit but we still have a fair deal of work to do in terms of aerodynam ic efficiency. Contrary to what we thought yesterday, the Michelin tyres are not the problem. We have, however, closed the gap with our key competitors like Jordan, BAR and Sauber. I don't recall being so close to that group before and it's disappointing t o have lost my last flying lap through a yellow flag and maybe we should have started my final run a little sooner. We are, however, very well prepared for the race and as everybody knows, we have a good race package complimented with a strong racing tyre from Michelin. The new aero package has certainly made a difference in that we have never been so close to the midfield pack. We are usually half a second off that group and the gap is now down to a tenth." <pre> Pedro de la Rosa Position: 16th Best time 1.17.627 Chassis: R2-06 T-Car chassis: R2-05 </pre> "I'm not happy with my qualifying performance. My main problem is understeer that is manifesting itself badly thorugh turns three and four where I was sliding around a lot. Finding grip is my biggest issue here and as the BMW WilliamsF1 have proved, it's n ot the tyres. There is probably a better set-up to be found and refined. The aerodynamic package is better than before but I am not getting the best out of the whole car."
Bobby Rahal, Chief Executive Officer & Team Principal
"I thought Eddie drove very very well and we have never been this close to our competitive group before. Other than Monaco, we are actually only 1.6 seconds off the pole time which around a circuit like this is a definite improvement. We are optimistic in that our race pace is always better than our qualifying pace. I wish we could have got Pedro going a little better and I don't know why we didn't at this stage. We still need to make the Jaguar R2 better and while the car has improved recently, our on-goin g development should close that gap even more over the next couple of races. We left our last run too late and while it didn't hurt us too much, it didn't help us either. An extra tenth or two would have moved Eddie up to almost eighth place and that level of competitiveness is what we are now aiming at. Let's see what tomorrow brings."