French GP: Jaguar preview

Jaguar Racing has been testing at the Circuit de Cataluyna, Barcelona (Spain) since returning from the Indianapolis Race (USA) just over a week ago. The team completed a three-day test last week involving all three drivers, Mark Webber (27), ...

Jaguar Racing has been testing at the Circuit de Cataluyna, Barcelona (Spain) since returning from the Indianapolis Race (USA) just over a week ago. The team completed a three-day test last week involving all three drivers, Mark Webber (27), Christian Klien (21) and Björn Wirdheim (24).

The test was productive during the three days when the R5 was both reliable and fast. The weather conditions also allowed for dry testing and despite a small incident when Christian Klien injured his finger in a brake-cooling duct the test ran without fault. The team is now focused on the weekend ahead and the race at Magny-Cours, France, where they will be competing for a points finish for both cars.

Mark Webber:

"Since returning to the UK last week I have been incredibly busy, first of all with our testing duties in Barcelona and then at the weekend when I competed in a 24-hour mountain bike challenge. Both events were rewarding in their own way, starting with the test it was very productive for us."

"I tested for two days and we completed our programme working on engine control and tyres amongst other things. Testing is so important for us and it is encouraging for both the team and I to reach our goals during the programme. During the weekend I competed in the mountain-bike challenge and our team came 25th out of over 400 teams, not bad considering we beat nine professional cycle teams! That was my fitness training going into Magny Cours so I am feeling well-prepared in advance of the race."

"I enjoy driving at the Magny Cours track, I won there in 2001 with F3000 and finished with three points last year so a good track from a points-scoring point of view. I will certainly be looking to have a good weekend in France and of course a good finish with some points is my goal."

Christian Klien:

"I have had an interesting and busy period since my last race. I went testing with the team for two days in Barcelona but after an accident in the garage I had to cut my running short. Unfortunately I damaged my right index finger when I picked up a brake-cooling duct to try and cool myself. Somehow my finger managed to slip through the protector and I caught it in the blade! The good news is that I will have no long-term damage and I am fit to race in France."

"I have raced at this track before in F3 so this makes me much better prepared, although as always until you get out on track on the Friday morning you don't know how the R5 is going to be in comparison to the F3 car around there. This is Michelins home race so we will be doing our best to score some points both for them and for us."

Björn Wirdheim:

"I was testing with the team last week and managed to complete a good number of laps over the test period. The R5 was very reliable and its pace just kept getting better. I am really looking forward to getting out on track on Friday this week in France and putting the R5 through its paces. I know this track quite well as I have raced here in both 2002 and 2003 in F3000 and I managed a podium here last year. The track is quite smooth and there are some good high-speed areas that you can really push through."

"I have been doing some training in between races and I also went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This was great fun and I really enjoyed seeing so many of the old Jaguars on track. I am now focused on my own Jaguar R5 and helping the team move forward up the grid this coming weekend."

David Pitchforth -- Managing director:

"The team has been working very hard since returning from the back-to-back races so much so in fact that some of the team travelled directly to Barcelona in Spain for our three-day test. Our test, I am pleased to say, went extremely well with us covering over 2000km over the three-days. Christian suffered a slight personal injury but he has made a good recovery and he will be back in the car in time for France. Mark and Björn both had incident free- sessions and they seemed pleased with the progress being made. The pace of the R5 is good over both one-lap and over a longer session of laps."

"We have been working on many areas of the car and as always are working on our continuous development. There are many minor changes throughout the car and we will continue to build on these developments throughout the season. Our testing is helping and now we need to score some points. Mark and Christian know this track so they will both be focused on the task ahead of them from the moment they arrive."

Dr Mark Gillan -- Head of Vehicle Performance:

"Our test last week at the Circuit de Catalunya was very productive as we completed successfully a very full programme that saw us work on numerous areas of the car. We specialised on aero, engine development, control, and suspension work as well as the usual tyre testing with Michelin. The three-day test was shared by our three drivers, Mark, Christian and Bjorn and they all performed well and we learnt a lot from their time on track. Cosworth Racing is continually developing their CR6-V10 engine and both drivers will be benefiting from these developments in France."

"Looking ahead to France we scored points here last year and we like this track. Requiring high to medium downforce it is a smooth track and contains some good high-speed corners. Overtaking although difficult is not impossible and we will be looking to make the most of any such opportunities. This circuit is relatively hard on tyres but we have a lot of information from previous races and we have been working hard with our tyre partner Michelin to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for their home-race."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Bjorn Wirdheim , Christian Klien
Teams Jaguar Racing