In many ways this was Jaguar Racing's strongest Qualifying session of the season so far, yet it was also a frustrating one as both its drivers had their fourth and final hot laps spoilt by a yellow flag in the final 'stadium' section of the ...
In many ways this was Jaguar Racing's strongest Qualifying session of the season so far, yet it was also a frustrating one as both its drivers had their fourth and final hot laps spoilt by a yellow flag in the final 'stadium' section of the Hockenheim circuit. Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine consistently improved their times throughout the hour-long session, and both were set to improve their grid positions until an incident involving Luciano Burti of Prost Grand Prix brought out the yellow flags forcing them to slow down. Despite this the Team is pleased with the improving pace of its R2 especially in low downforce trim and statistically, today's result is a definite improvement over the Team's 'average' Qualifying position of P12/P13 so far this season. The gap between Jaguar Racing and its immediate competition continues to narrow.
Pedro de la Rosa
"I am very pleased to have got my first top ten qualifying place with Jaguar Racing. I hardly altered the car throughout the session with the only change being a slight wing adjustment. Apart from that, the car worked perfectly today and had it not been for the yellow flags at the end, I could probably have finished a couple of places higher. As I came into the stadium section, the on-board read-out was showing me that I was three-tenths up but I had little choice than to lift completely and lose what should have been a much higher place. Nevertheless, I am optimistic about being in a points scoring position for tomorrow's race. Starting higher up the grid compared to normal makes life a lot easier, especially because the Michelin tyres work so well around this circuit. We have found that the tyres work better in the race and combined with a good strategy, I reckon this is my best chance of the season so far to score some more points for the Team."
"To be honest, I'm a little disappointed not to have qualified higher today. My last run was by far my best, but I had to abort it as I entered the stadium section. I'm also at a loss to understand why I'm 11th yet come tomorrow's race, I know our pace will be much quicker than those guys around me and it's frustrating not knowing how to push this car further up the grid in Qualifying. BMW Williams have proved today just how good the Michelin tyres are and subsequently I'm confused as to why I was not higher-up the grid. Again, it seems that my race tomorrow will be dictated by a good strategy, a hard drive and some retirements at the front."
Bobby Rahal, Chief Executive Officer & Team Principal
"I'd like to extend my congratulations to Mark Handford and his aerodynamics team for doing such a good job on the car in such a short time frame. We have improved the R2's efficiency and the disparity between us and the others is getting smaller by each race. Both drivers did a solid job today, but I'm sure they could also have been higher had it not been for the yellow flag situation right at the end. Pedro was up by about three-tenths on his final run before the yellow flags came out and Eddie was up by two-tenths. This team wasn't exactly at home on these types of circuits last year and it's a credit to everybody that we have made significant progress, albeit with quite some way to go before we are satisfied."