Italian GP Jaguar race notes

Jaguar Racing were finally given the reward they had been waiting so patiently for as Pedro de la Rosa drove an excellent race and brought his Jaguar R2 home to finish the Italian Grand Prix in 5th position. This is the best result of the season...

Jaguar Racing were finally given the reward they had been waiting so patiently for as Pedro de la Rosa drove an excellent race and brought his Jaguar R2 home to finish the Italian Grand Prix in 5th position. This is the best result of the season for the Spaniard who hadn't scored a point since the Canadian Grand Prix earlier in the year. On the other side of the fence it was a different story. After a frustrating weekend, Eddie Irvine's race came to a cruel end when he was forced to retire on lap 18 with a suspected engine problem. At the start of the race Eddie had moved up from 13th position to 7th, but his reward was short-lived when his Jaguar R2 began losing power costing him irretrievable time. The team called Eddie into the pits where the problem was diagnosed as terminal and Eddie had no choice but to retire.

The Jaguar Racing team now moves on to Silverstone in the UK for a three-day test in preparation for the forthcoming USA Grand Prix.

Pedro de la Rosa
"That's the boost we've been waiting for. The past few races haven't been very good and I am just delighted for everybody in the team. Everything went like clockwork today. The Jaguar R2 felt very well balanced throughout and I didn't suffer from any problems. My worry beforehand was the first chicane and I'm just glad I made it through there without incident. Jenson Button made a great start but came flying into the chicane and took a few people out. I took advantage of the confusion and was surprised at having gained four places by the end of the first lap. The Michelin tyres worked very well and given that I was on a one-stop strategy, I didn't push to the limit for fear of causing excessive tyre wear. As the fuel level lowered and the tyres were run in the car felt great, like it has all weekend. We'll aim to carry this momentum into the next two races and let's see where it gets us."

Eddie Irvine
"What can I say! I made a pleasing start that saw me climb into 7th place and almost immediately I felt a power loss. It just kept going from bad to worse and that's why I lost so many places. The problem wasn't showing up on the telemetry and the team correctly decided to call me in on lap 18. It's been a bad weekend for me from the minute I arrived in Monza. The car hasn't really been to my liking all weekend and it was difficult achieving a good set-up. I haven't been doing too well in the last few races and, unlike earlier in the season, the reliability bug seems to have jumped on me. It's very disappointing not to have scored points today, but at least Pedro has compensated the team with some well-deserved points. The guys work their backsides off in this team and reward has been a rarity for them. Let's see how we fair in Indianapolis and with only three points separating us from Benetton, the chance to overtake them is open again."

Niki Lauda, Team Principal
"Pedro drove a great race. He avoided the accident at the first chicane and after that he drove a very determined race. Our pit-stop strategy was definitely the right one and it's a shame we lost Eddie. Both cars were in 6th and 7th positions when Eddie experienced a power loss and it's a shame not to have taken full advantage today. It looks like part of the oil breathing system in the Cosworth CR3 engine had come loose and right at the start it allowed some oil to fall into the engine. In effect, it failed one of the plugs in the engine. It's a very rare thing to happen and we'll know for sure when Cosworth Racing get the engine back to their Northamptonshire HQ. Nonetheless, I take nothing away from Pedro and the team. They executed a great job today and we have been rewarded accordingly. We must now look to take this strength and apply it to getting past Benetton in the Constructor's table."

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