French GP: Jaguar preview

Having completed three days of testing at Monza (Italy) last week, Jaguar Racing heads to the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit in France to contest the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Situated some 160 miles south of Paris, the ...

Having completed three days of testing at Monza (Italy) last week, Jaguar Racing heads to the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit in France to contest the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Situated some 160 miles south of Paris, the circuit will offer the drivers a blend of slow corners coupled with high-speed sections. Although a modern circuit, it lacks ample over-taking opportunities, with the right-hander of Estoril most likely to provide the weekend action. With the summer testing ban now in place, Jaguar Racing will be looking to understand further the revised aerodynamic package that was introduced at Silverstone ten days ago, albeit with limited testing mileage at the time.

Niki Lauda -- CEO and Team Principal

"Magny-Cours is one of the few circuits on the F1 calendar that I have not raced on. It only came onto the scene in 1991 and prior to that we used to race on the circuits of Reims, Rouen, Clermont-Ferrand, Le Mans-Bugatti and Paul Ricard. Magny-Cours has proved itself as one of the modern-day circuits with a good safety record, but offers little in the way of excitement for the fans as there are so few good over-taking places."

"The Adelaide hairpin is probably the best opportunity the drivers have to make a move and of course Eddie has had a couple of podiums here so he has the experience behind him. We will be looking to strengthen our understanding of the revised aero package this weekend and after three days of testing in Monza, we should be better prepared than we were at Silverstone. With its mix of slow and fast corners, Magny-Cours demands a good aero balance and the weekend will of course be especially important for Michelin as it's their home race."

Eddie Irvine

"After Silverstone, it was good to get in a day's testing at Monza. Up until then, the testing conditions had not been to our advantage either in Barcelona or during the Silverstone Free Practice session where our plans were compromised by rain showers. The Monza test allowed me to work on set-up, balance and discuss the package in more detail with the team. I am looking forward to the French Grand Prix, particularly as I have had two podium finishes here in 1997 and 1998."

"It's a circuit, however, that fails to offer many over-taking sections thanks to its complex layout. It also happens to be the only circuit where you cross the start/finish line in first gear accelerating up towards the first left-hand corner at Grande Courbe. Michelin will be hoping to have the upper hand here - the combination of high track temperatures and the support of the home-crowd will help them, no doubt. Off the track, Magny-Cours is one of the circuits where we are all guaranteed an early night. While its location is far from central, it doesn't seem to dissuade the many British fans who make the relatively short journey here every year."

Pedro de la Rosa

"Magny-Cours may be one of the smoothest circuits on the calendar, but the track remains more technical than challenging. The track starts with you in first gear accelerating up towards the first left hand corner Grande Courbe which is taken at full throttle. Leaving this corner in 5th gear, you then dab the brakes very gently as you enter Estoril. On the straight, I accelerate up to over 185 mph before braking hard for the first gear hairpin, Adelaide."

"Traction is important here as you accelerate up to 5th gear before entering Nurburgring - the first of the fast chicanes. More acceleration then braking into the left-hand hairpin, followed by the fast Imola chicane. Then the long right-hand Chateaux d'Eau corner, followed by a short 4th gear straight leading into the final and relatively difficult Chicane. You then enter the last corner, Lycee, and this leads straight on to the start/finish line. As long as the temperatures stay high for Michelin's home race and we cross the chequered flag, I will be satisfied".

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Pedro de la Rosa , Niki Lauda