Jaguar hoping for respectable year

Tony Purnell, head of Ford's Premiere Performance Division, told reporters at Jaguar Racing HQ in Milton Keynes today that Jaguar was hoping for a respectable performance this year. Purnell wants Jaguar to be 'Team Promising' in 2003, rather than...

Tony Purnell, head of Ford's Premiere Performance Division, told reporters at Jaguar Racing HQ in Milton Keynes today that Jaguar was hoping for a respectable performance this year. Purnell wants Jaguar to be 'Team Promising' in 2003, rather than making any sweeping statements about performance. He also admitted that last year's R3 was pretty much a disaster.

"It shouldn't have been allowed out of the factory," he said of the 2002 car. "You can attack us pretty much if we do something like that. It shouldn't be allowed to happen. So we are hoping for this year that the car's respectable and that the team's respectable and that we don't make any statements which aim a double-barrelled shotgun at our feet."

Ford stepped in towards the end of last year and made big changes at Jaguar, including sacking team principal Niki Lauda, and now the team are focusing on a more intense technical programme. The rumour mill has reported that Jaguar Racing is on thin ice with Ford but Purnell shrugged that off -- he is convinced improvements can be made, but is aware the team has to deliver results soon.

"If you're spending a lot of money, a real lot of money, on something and its not meeting anything that you wanted for that money, then you have got to call things into question," he said. "But I don't think we're in any different a position to Renault, Toyota or what have you."

"Being in Formula One is not a given for anybody, you've got to deliver some value for them so it is important that we turn into 'Team Promising'. There's a huge amount to do here, this is tip of the iceberg stuff. Everywhere we look we know we can make huge improvements to this company. I can't emphasise too much that you don't make a bad team good in six months. But you can make a dramatic change."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Niki Lauda
Teams Jaguar Racing