Italian GP: Jaguar preview

Having completed a three-day test programme at Monza last week, Jaguar Racing head to the Italian 'tifosi's' homeland to contest the 15th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The team's test programme proved productive with Eddie...

Having completed a three-day test programme at Monza last week, Jaguar Racing head to the Italian 'tifosi's' homeland to contest the 15th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The team's test programme proved productive with Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa concentrating on set-up work and tyre evaluations.

With its long straights and sweeping corners, the nature of the Monza circuit requires a low downforce configuration and combined with the expected high temperatures, the team is aiming to take full advantage of the conditions on offer this weekend. After an encouraging all-round performance at the Belgian Grand Prix which earned the team a championship point, Jaguar Racing will be looking to sustain the momentum in Monza - a track that rewarded Pedro de la Rosa with a 5th place points finish last year.

Niki Lauda -- CEO and Team Principal

"We completed three-days of testing last week in Monza in preparation for this weekend's race. It was a constructive test that went quite some way towards highlighting the strengths of our package under low-downforce conditions. Nevertheless, one should never take test times too seriously and until everyone takes to the track for qualifying, it would be foolish to make any predictions about the weekend ahead of us."

"Like Spa Francorchamps, Monza is one of the last great circuits left on the F1 calendar and as we have witnessed so many times in the past, it has a tendency to punish. The chicanes generate very extreme pressures on brakes and because nearly 71% of the lap is run at full throttle, the engines are pushed to their absolute limit. Because of these challenges, I think Monza is one of the best circuits on the calendar. I know some drivers find its layout a little boring, but from a technical perspective, it poses all sorts of challenges."

"I have won here twice, but there have been many safety changes since then. Even still, it remains one of the fastest of the modern-day tracks and it rarely fails to provide an exciting race. We are all looking forward to the weekend's racing and combined with lessons learned from Spa, we go into the weekend with relatively more optimism than other races. There isn't one thing in particular that you could pinpoint and credit for our recently improved pace."

"Instead, the team has been chipping away endlessly all season and combined with some good testing work, we are now seeing some encouraging signs. Both Jaguars were around a tenth off the Williams and McLarens in Spa compared to around two seconds earlier in the season. The Michelin tyres are undoubtedly playing a key part in this, but we are now exploiting the tyres better because of the downforce improvements that have been made to the Jaguar R3."

Eddie Irvine

"Spending time with my Italian friends is one of the things I enjoy most about Monza. I spend a lot of time in Italy during the year and I enjoy the people and their culture. Certainly the 'tifosi' are F1's most committed and passionate fans, a good few of which still cheer me on. I came here straight after Spa as we were testing at the track last week so I have had time to catch up with many familiar faces. It almost feels like my home race!"

"The weather, usually good, let us down last week during testing and so our running time was reduced. Nevertheless, this weekend's race will be interesting and always, not short in the action department! Although the track is not one of my favourites as my race history proves - my best here was 2nd in 1998 - it requires a low downforce set-up and the hotter temperatures help with tyre performance."

"The circuit has so much history and despite recent safety changes, the fast sweeping corners and challenging first chicane remain. Performance here will also depend on whether teams opt for a one-stop or two-stop strategy, both of which have proved successful in the past. After our performance in Spa we are hopeful for a good race, but remain open-minded until qualifying on Saturday. We have not made any specific changes to the Jaguar R3 going into this race and because of this, we must wait to see what new additions our competitors turn-up with."

Pedro de la Rosa

"Monza requires a low downforce configuration and good balance. At the end of the first straight you are doing 230mph before braking hard for the Rettifilo chicane. Taken in first gear at about 55mph you then accelerate hard for the Curva Grande, entering the corner at 170mph and exiting at about 200mph. You build your speed up on the straight to about 220mph and then you take the second chicane Roggia in second gear at about 62mph. A short straight precedes the first Lesmo corner, taken at 100mph you then accelerate through before dropping down to third gear for the second corner."

"Another straight before the Ascari chicane takes you up to 210mph before a change of gear down to 85mph. Prior to Parabolica you can reach 220mph before taking the corner at a minimum of 100mph. Your exit it imperative to allow you to carry your speed onto the main pit straight and on for another lap."


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