French GP: Jaguar race notes

A disappointing end to what began as a promising French Grand Prix for Jaguar Racing as Eddie Irvine retired and Pedro de la Rosa finished in 9th place. Eddie and Pedro lined-up on the grid in 8th and 14th places respectively and despite a very ...

A disappointing end to what began as a promising French Grand Prix for Jaguar Racing as Eddie Irvine retired and Pedro de la Rosa finished in 9th place. Eddie and Pedro lined-up on the grid in 8th and 14th places respectively and despite a very strong performance from Eddie, he was robbed of a potential point when his rear wing failed and came off on lap 53.

The high-speed incident happened as Eddie was in 7th place and with Jenson Button having to make a third pit-stop in front of him, Eddie was disappointed not to have been rewarded with a championship point today. Pedro's race didn't fair much better either as he lost two places at the beginning and found it difficult to make an impression on a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake on. His planned two-stop strategy was unexpectedly turned into a three-stopper as he came in on lap 57 to have his rear wing checked following Eddie's incident a few laps earlier.

Niki Lauda - CEO and Team Principal

"To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. We have been quite strong here all weekend and to have ended the weekend in this manner is very frustrating for us all. Eddie drove a very strong race and made-up a lot of ground throughout. His lap times were not that far off the pace and given that he didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon, I am sorry for the way in which his race ended. We will of course investigate the rear wing failure and learn from what is clearly a mistake of some kind. Looking at the weekend as a whole, however, our level of competitiveness here encourages me, but we must remain realistic and credit the Michelin tyres for their performance at their home race. Our new Cosworth CR4 engine has also been well received and combined with what are clear steps forward on the car itself, it is a great shame we couldn't have done ourselves justice today."

Pedro de la Rosa

"That was a very boring race for me which began in the worse way possible. As we charged towards the first corner, I remember seeing Oliver Panis spinning in front of me which forced me to take evasive action into the gravel. From there on, I had no choice but to re-join the race in 16th position and found it very hard to overtake anyone. I did my best to take advantage of other people's mistakes, but the overtaking opportunities are here are almost non-existent. On the positive side, the Jaguar R3 felt well balanced today and was definitely not suffering from as much understeer as in the past. Combined with our three-day test in Monza last week, we have learned a lot this weekend which I hope to put to better use in Hockenheim next weekend."

Eddie Irvine

"That probably looked a lot more spectacular than it actually felt from inside the car. All I remember feeling is that the rear of the car just snapped at what must have been around 310kph. Luckily, it happened at the best place to have a failure on this circuit and the car simply slid into the gravel. Up until that point, I was really enjoying the race and the charge towards Jenson Button in 6th place. I was catching Jenson and given that he had another stop to make, a precious point could have been possible here."

"Nevertheless, we have demonstrated some encouraging signs of turnaround this weekend and despite the fact that we still have some issues to address, we are moving in the right direction. The car feels more like a race car now and even though we have been somewhat flattered by the Michelins here, our race pace was improved relative to our immediate competition. Hockenheim is another test altogether and we'll see how the package performs there in a few days from now."


Pedro de la Rosa
Position: 9th
Chassis: R3-04


Eddie Irvine
Position: DNF
Chassis: R3- 05
T-Car: R3 - 06

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Jenson Button , Pedro de la Rosa , Niki Lauda
Teams Jaguar Racing