A promising start to the weekend for the Jaguar Racing team although Eddie Irvine was only able to complete three laps in the morning Free Practice session due to an electrical fault which stopped his R2 at Turn 8. With the problem rectified, the...
A promising start to the weekend for the Jaguar Racing team although Eddie Irvine was only able to complete three laps in the morning Free Practice session due to an electrical fault which stopped his R2 at Turn 8. With the problem rectified, the Ulsterman quickly got to grips with his car in the afternoon session to leave him with the second fastest time of the day behind David Coulthard's McLaren-Mercedes. Both Jaguar drivers noted strong understeer in the slow corners of the Magny-Cours circuit and different track conditions to those they experienced in testing at the circuit in late May. Pedro de la Rosa is looking to find more traction and rear end grip overnight but is reasonably happy to be placed eighth and in touch with the front-runners at this stage.
"Conditions are very different to those we experienced at the test session we completed here and the car doesn't feel quite as good as it did then. The circuit was very slippery in the morning session and windy too and I lost the majority of that session anyway with an electrical problem that shut the car down. I'm sure the team will fine-tune the car in an effort to extract more downforce for qualifying but I'm reasonably satisfied with how we have started the weekend. There's work to be done on the balance and set-up but we expected this and we now have a clear baseline on which to build and improve."
Pedro de la Rosa
"The Free Practice session was OK from my point of view. Our plan was to evaluate the tyres and we have decided on which Michelin compound to go with for tomorrow. We played catch-up during the first session and the track was very dirty and slippery. We did, however, make gradual progress throughout the two sessions to the extent that we have a much better idea of where we want to go and how we're going to get there. There are certainly more changes planned before Qualifying and so far everything seems to be OK. "
Bobby Rahal, Chief Executive Officer & Team Principal
"There seems to be a difference between our last test here and our performance today, but I'm happy with how we have begun the weekend. Our main priority was comparing the tyre compounds and evaluating set-up for Qualifying. There's more speed to be extracted from both cars and we are looking at ways to achieve this. The slippery nature of the track this morning didn't help anybody and as we saw, many drivers took trips into the gravel today. Eddie's electrical problem from this morning has been fixed and we now look forward to carrying this work forward."