Not a good day at Magny-Cours for the Jaguar Racing team. Pedro de la Rosa had the worst possible start when he lost his throttle on the formation lap and once he had managed to restart he had already lost a lap on the field. Despite this he stuck...
Not a good day at Magny-Cours for the Jaguar Racing team. Pedro de la Rosa had the worst possible start when he lost his throttle on the formation lap and once he had managed to restart he had already lost a lap on the field. Despite this he stuck to the t ask in hand to bring his Jaguar R2 home in fourteenth place. Having started from twelfth on the grid, Eddie Irvine set out on a quest for points and drove a determined race to find himself behind the BAR-Honda of Olivier Panis until he made a magnificent p ass at the final corner on lap 21 to move up to eighth position. Having pitted twice Eddie was less then 0.3secs behind Nick Heidfeld's Sauber in sixth place when he experienced an air valve system problem and was forced to retire from the race on lap 55. The problem was identified on lap 30 and irrespective of the team's effort to re-charge it during the second pit-stop, it was to no avail.
"Again, qualifying below our potential ruined our weekend and on this occasion I shoulder some of the blame for not doing a better job yesterday. I couldn't have driven a harder race today and to have started from 12th and ending up fighting for points proves that we are capable of better things. We keep saying it, I know, but we need to make better use of Qualifying. It seems to me that the Bridgestone tyres are great during Qualifying but we have a far better Michelin tyre during the race. It wasn't easy getting past Panis and Frentzen and the pair of them were killing me through the faster corners. I knew where I wanted to pass Panis and after a while he began covering himself. I spent sometime allowing him to think that I wasn't going to take him at that point and in the end I pounced and made it through. It's great fun racing in the manner that we did today and very satisfying to come through the field and scrap for points. Big shame about the way it ended though!"
Pedro de la Rosa
"That's a race I want to forget about. I lost my throttle on the formation lap and for a while it looked like a retirement. It then began working again and I had no choice but to race hard and see what happened. The feeling of frustration is made worse because of how good the car felt. It was well balanced and again the tyres worked very well indeed. There's very little you can do in those situations apart from getting your head down and just hoping for some luck to come your way. The less said about this race, the better."
Bobby Rahal, Chief Executive Officer & Team Principal
"I'm obviously disappointed but I take comfort from how far we have come in such a small time frame. Eddie drove a magnificent race and I think he's overtaken more people this year than anybody. He was also one of the fastest guys out there today and we have learned the same lesson here as we did at the Nürburgring ^Ö we need to qualify better. The car obviously needs more work, especially during Qualifying, but the potential is there. The tyres are good and the package is coming on well, but it's clear that we need to do more. We lost a point today and maybe even two. It's the home race next and we have some new bits for the car. The team will head to the Monza test next week and look at where we are going wrong in an effort to get it right."