Suzuka - 14 October 2001 Weather: Warm, sunny, dry, air temperature 24 degrees, track temperature 27 degrees A disappointing end to the 2001 Formula One season for Jaguar Racing as Eddie Irvine was forced to retire from the Japanese Grand Prix...
Suzuka - 14 October 2001
Weather: Warm, sunny, dry, air temperature 24 degrees, track temperature 27 degrees
A disappointing end to the 2001 Formula One season for Jaguar Racing as Eddie Irvine was forced to retire from the Japanese Grand Prix following a power supply failure on both fuel rigs during his first pit stop. Eddie had been driving a strong race, climbing from 13th place on the grid to 7th place at the time of his first pit stop, however, in a case of gross misfortune, both power generators used to feed the fuel rigs failed one after the other. Fortune did not shine for Pedro de la Rosa either. He had to start the race in the T-car when the crank sensor failed on his Jaguar R2. This was later rectified minutes before the race start. Pedro drove a strong race, threading his way through the mid-field traffic, and was in 12th place with eight laps to go when he was called back to the garage to retire after his car suffered an oil leak problem.
Pedro de la Rosa Position: DNF
T-Car Chassis: R2-05
"That was a very hard race. It was very difficult to mount a serious challenge and I just kept pushing. The car has felt well balanced all weekend, but the lack of downforce has cost us dearly. Nonetheless, we knew this would hamper us before we came here and the team came very close to staging a serious challenge for 7th place in the Constructor's. My retirement was down to an oil leak problem. We came so close today to grabbing 7th place away from Benetton-Renault and yes, we are all disappointed, but that's motor racing for you. Benetton-Renault did a better job than we did today and they deserve the reward. We know what we have to do for next season and we're already underway with that work. It's going to be a long and hard winter ahead for everybody at Jaguar Racing."
Eddie Irvine Position: DNF
"I'm thoroughly disappointed. All the hard work was done. I had climbed up to 7th place in the race and had the fuel rig worked, we would have come out ahead of both Benettons - which was our target for this race. I don't know exactly what happened during the pit-stop. As planned, I came in on lap 23 and what looked like a brilliant stop turned out to be a total disaster because no fuel went into the car. I came straight back again, but problem re-occurred on the second fuel rig too and I had no choice but to call it a day. From what I understand, it seems that there was a power failure on both rigs. The team tried to switch the power source and in Pedro's case, it worked - but not mine. I don't really know what else to add. Getting 7th in the Constructor's Championship is what we were aiming for here and for a moment, it looked like we were there. The car felt good and I was pushing it to the absolute limit, but there's no way of preparing for bizarre issues like this. We will, for sure, investigate very carefully into why this happened. It's been a very hard season for everybody at Jaguar Racing, and while it may have looked like a tall order at the beginning of this race, we again proved our ability to race hard and fight for points."
Niki Lauda, Team Principal
"Everybody at Jaguar Racing is disappointed with a race that should have secured us 7th place in the Constructor's Championship. A lot of time and thought went into this race strategy and everything was going to plan until Eddie's pit-stop. It's a very strange thing to have happen, but we inexplicably lost the power supply to both fuel rigs. It's too early to explain why this happened, but it happened. Eddie drove an excellent race up until that point and he would have re-joined the race around two seconds ahead of Fisichella. A perfect job done by everybody and a very harsh blow to follow. Pedro also drove a determined race this afternoon, but he retired with an oil leak problem. Not a great way to end what has been a succession of good performances. We have finished the season in 8th place in the Constructor's Championship and we'll now focus everything we have into next year's challenger, the Jaguar R3. There is clearly a lot of work ahead of us."