European GP Jaguar race notes

Both a frustrating and encouraging European Grand Prix for the Jaguar Racing team. The race was frustrating because Eddie Irvine drove a hard charging race to finish in seventh place just out of the points and only 1.3 seconds behind Mika...

Both a frustrating and encouraging European Grand Prix for the Jaguar Racing team. The race was frustrating because Eddie Irvine drove a hard charging race to finish in seventh place just out of the points and only 1.3 seconds behind Mika Hakkinen's McLaren. Pedro de la Rosa also drove a strong race to bring his Jaguar R2 home in eighth position having started from sixteenth on the grid. Despite not scoring points, the race clearly illustrates the progress the team is making in developing its car that is now demonstrating a pleasing 'race pace'. Nevertheless, the team is aware that it must produce a stronger qualifying performance if it is to put its cars consistently in a position to challenge for further points this season. The team will be looking to accomplish this at next weekend's French Grand Prix.

Eddie Irvine
Position: 7th

"I couldn't have done any better today and it just shows how important it is for us to qualify better. The car felt great but we need to fully exploit the qualifying hour in an effort to grab the points that are out there for the taking. I don't see what else we could have done different for the race itself. The pit-stop strategy was excellent and the Michelin tyres worked perfectly. I spent quite a while behind Frentzen and I couldn't work out at first whether he was carrying a lot of fuel or whether our tyres were giving me an advantage. I was amazed at how easy it was to keep up with him and I was even lifting along the straights to conserve fuel and still managing to keep pace with him - it proved how good the tyres were. The fruits of our labour are beginning to pay dividends in that we have closed the gap against our rivals and a better qualifying position would probably have allowed me to fight Hakkinen today. The on-going development, I'm sure, will soon allow us to take the fight further up the grid and given that Magny-Cours is the next race, we shouldn't have to wait too long before that begins to happen."

Pedro de la Rosa
Position: 8th

"I was happy with my race performance and I enjoyed my battle with Villeneuve. Clearly we need to do a better job for qualifying that would allow us to translate the car's race capability into points. The morning warm-up was unfortunately plagued with a few problems that led to me having to make set-up changes before the race. The car, however, performed well during the race and maybe a bit of luck would have allowed both Eddie and I to score points today. You make your own luck in this business and it's now up to us to develop this package into a real contender."

Bobby Rahal, Chief Executive Officer & Team Principal

"That was the best team performance of the year. Monaco was made special by Eddie's great weekend, but this weekend clearly demonstrates the progress that has been achieved in recent weeks. Both cars ran very strong and as we have said before, our race pace is always better than qualifying. We must, however, do a better job in qualifying which in turn would allow both Eddie and Pedro to challenge for points. Both drivers did and good job today and must also pay credit to the team and Michelin. It's unfortunate to come away with no points after such a weekend but our improvement is very encouraging and should allow us to reap the full benefits very soon indeed."

-Jaguar

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Pedro de la Rosa , Mika Hakkinen , Bobby Rahal
Teams McLaren , Jaguar Racing