Italian GP: Jaguar preview

Jaguar Racing travels this week to Monza (Italy) to contest the last European race on the 2003 FIA Formula One Championship calendar. After scoring three championship points in Hungary three weeks ago the team has spent the extended break working...

Jaguar Racing travels this week to Monza (Italy) to contest the last European race on the 2003 FIA Formula One Championship calendar. After scoring three championship points in Hungary three weeks ago the team has spent the extended break working on the R4 both on and off the track.

Cosworth Racing, Pi Research and tyre partner Michelin have all been working with the team in order to extract the most from the car over the remaining three races. Testing at Monza has allowed the team to produce track data ahead of the race weekend. More time on track has also allowed Justin Wilson to clock up more mileage in preparation for his third race with the team.

David Pitchforth - Managing Director:

"With three races to go and three teams including ours fighting it out for 5th place in the Constructors Championship, the Italian Grand Prix will be a fascinating contest. The championship scrap at the front of the grid will understandably steal the show, but along with BAR-Honda and Toyota, our aim is to maximise upon the Italian race weekend in the hope of more championship points."

"Mark drove a storming race in Hungary to finish 6th and add another three points to our tally but Monza will be tougher. Not only did everyone test thoroughly there last week but also Monza is also renowned for being a 'car- breaker.' The low downforce configuration means maximum straight-line speeds and the chicanes at the end of the straights put enormous stresses on brakes. With the engine being at full throttle for over 70% of the lap, the demands upon car and driver are extreme."

"We undertook a three-day test at Monza last week and while we encountered some problems, the overall result was positive. Both drivers are fired-up for this weekend's race and for Justin in particular, the three-day test was invaluable given his limited mileage with us since he started at the German Grand Prix."

"Justin is doing a good job for us and we have another three races left with him before we need to make a decision for 2004. That said we need to give him a trouble-free race package for a weekend -- something we haven't done given his retirements from the German and Hungarian Grand Prix. Only then can Justin demonstrate his true potential. It is a buyers market right now and we are under no pressure to announce Mark's teammate for next season."

"It is important to note that, unlike other teams, we changed our driver line-up mid-season and we need to give Justin a fair opportunity to demonstrate himself prior to any decisions being taken. On choosing a team-mate for Mark, we have many variables to consider and as we have said recently, drivers bringing finance is just one of several. It is a complex equation that involves looking at experience, the extent to which someone is a team player, adaptability to our growing company and suitability to the challenge that lies ahead of us amongst many other factors. Justin was made aware of this right from day one and both sides are clear and comfortable with the matter. Right now, however, we are all clearly focused on going to Monza and being competitive against our immediate competition."

Mark Webber:

"Another three-week period between races is frustrating when we are this near to the end of the Championship and the positions are so close. However with that said, we have made the most of the time available and we have been testing in Monza in preparation for the race weekend and I have also been working on my fitness. The team has been working hard at the factory in preparation for our last European race and it will no doubt be exciting for us the drivers and the spectators. The circuit at Monza is a great track to race on and we know it fairly well."

"There are some good long straights and some challenging chicanes which all make for an entertaining afternoon of racing. Although we managed to test there last week we will also be looking to make the most of Friday-testing, as you can never have too much data. During the test last week we spent some time on the Monza set-up and of course we are also looking at the last two remaining races. I am looking forward to getting back on the track and racing and let's hope we can keep on challenging BAR-Honda and Toyota for fifth position in the Constructors Championship."

Justin Wilson:

"It's hard to believe that I'm on to my third race with the team already. I spent last week in Monza testing with them so it was certainly good to get a few more miles under my belt before the race. I like Monza it's a challenging track and I managed a podium there when I was in F3000. The team has been working really hard over the three-week break and I in turn have been working hard on my fitness. I am enjoying my time with the team and we are making steps forward. I know they had a podium here last year but to be honest, if I can finish the race I will be a happy man."

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Justin Wilson
Teams Jaguar Racing