French GP: Jaguar race notes

A strong performance from the Jaguar Racing team this weekend continued on track today as drivers Mark Webber (27) and Christian Klien (21) battled for points with both of the BMW-Williams with them eventually finishing 9th and 11th respectively...

A strong performance from the Jaguar Racing team this weekend continued on track today as drivers Mark Webber (27) and Christian Klien (21) battled for points with both of the BMW-Williams with them eventually finishing 9th and 11th respectively in the French Grand Prix. Both drivers had strong starts and throughout the 70-lap race the pace of the R5 was on average only a tenth slower than that of the new McLaren MP4 19-B.

With only one retirement from the field of 20 cars the Jaguar team are encouraged by the increased performance of the R5 under race conditions as they now return to the UK to prepare for their home-race to take place this coming weekend at Silverstone (UK).

Mark Webber:

"Today's race was incredibly competitive with most teams both reliable and fast. The team has done an amazing job all weekend and to see us finishing both cars in 9th and 11th after only one retirement is really testament to the hard work we have been undertaking here at the track and back in the factory. Michelin has done a good job as always and we are very pleased with our progress with them. Their is no doubt that the R5 package is competitive and worthy of points finishes, you now just need to be perfect all weekend to get them since the competition is so tough. I am very motivated going into the team's home race and I am excited about getting back behind the wheel as soon as possible."

Christian Klien:

"This weekend has really been a good step-forward for me as I feel everything is coming together. I have been gradually improving all weekend in my pace and to start 13th and finish 11th with a problem-free race is fantastic. The car was very well-balanced for me and I got a good start. I certainly raced hard and I was very pleased to be able to stay with my team-mate through most of the race. We both need to be finishing in the points and this is my goal. I was held up marginally by the Minardi cars and the Jordans, and the blue flags slowed me down a little bit. However, overall this has been one of my best racing weekends so far and I hope that there will be more like these to come."

Dr Mark Gillan -- Head of Vehicle Performance

"This has been a very strong weekend for us here in France, both from a reliabilty as well as a pace point of view. The team arrived here very well prepared and also straight from a test in Barcelona (Spain). We are continually developing the car and I am very pleased to see it all coming together during the race. Both Mark and Christian made good starts and their pace on track was more than competitive. To see both drivers racing the two BMW-Williams drivers was fantastic and to see just how close our pace was to that of the McLarens is a real boost. We are certainly starting to see the fruits of our hard labour. I, of course, would have liked to have achieved points but given there was no attrition and only one retirement our final positions are really encouraging. We are now very focused going into our home race and I am looking forward to seeing the R5's racing on their home turf."

Mark Webber
Position: 9th
Chassis: R5-05

Christian Klien
Position: 11th
Chassis: R5-01

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Christian Klien
Teams McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jaguar Racing , Jordan