Malaysian GP: Jaguar preview

Jaguar Racing makes its way to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), this week to prepare for the second round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. As a result of the extreme humidity of Malaysia most of the team travelled directly from Melbourne to help...

Jaguar Racing makes its way to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), this week to prepare for the second round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. As a result of the extreme humidity of Malaysia most of the team travelled directly from Melbourne to help with acclimatisation. All three drivers, Mark Webber (27), Christian Klien (21) and Bjorn Wirdheim (23) have been training in local Malaysian conditions to help them prepare both mentally and physically for the task ahead.

After a frustrating finish for Mark at Albert Park the team has been working hard back at the Milton Keynes (UK) factory to ensure the reliability of the R5 at the Sepang track. Christian finished a positive and encouraging 11th last weekend and he will be looking for the chequered flag again in his second race.

Mark Webber:

"Since my disappointing finish last weekend at my home race I have been focusing very hard on my physical training and mental preparation for Sepang. The weather can often be the main challenge for drivers over the course of the weekend as temperatures within the car can rise dramatically making the body work far harder to stay cool."

"Although I was unable to return to the factory during this time, I know that the team has been working day and night on the R5 looking at the gearbox and understanding why we were unable to finish the Melbourne Race. I am positive that we are taking steps forward and the fact that Christian finished the race ahead of both Toyotas is encouraging for all of us. Sepang is a track that I enjoy racing at and one that is challenging for the car, as the temperatures are so high. We have yet to see the full potential of the R5 and I am looking more than forward to putting it through its paces next weekend."

"The car is working very well with the Michelin tyres and of course we are very pleased that Cosworth was able to deliver on reliability last weekend. We will be looking for more of the same in Malaysia. I will certainly be doing my best to deliver in qualifying but of course with my focus on finishing the race and taking any opportunity that we have to score points"

Christian Klien:

"I can hardly believe that the second race has come around so quickly. I really enjoyed Melbourne and I was very pleased with having been able to finish and get some miles under my belt. I have spent the last week training in Langkawi with both Mark and Bjorn and I am really starting to understand that your physical and mental fitness is so important in the fight for finishing the race. The R5 was really good for me at Albert Park and although I suffered a hydraulic failure in my qualifying the car withstood the test of the race and we were reliable enough for me to see the chequered flag."

"I will be using the Friday practice as an opportunity to familiarise myself with the track which is where the other drivers have an advantage over me. Bjorn will be a great help as he can focus on tyres while I am out learning the corners. I am working well with my mechanics and my engineers. They are a really good team and I would like to reward all their hard work with some points. I know that this will take time but if I can work on my qualifying then anything is possible."

Björn Wirdheim:

"I am really enjoying my time at Jaguar Racing and I am pleased to know that my Friday practice is really making a difference to the team and Mark and Christian. Although we don't get long out there on track or certainly as long as I would like I am making the most of getting to know the R5 and getting to know some of the circuits in more detail. A lot of my time is spent focusing on tyres to help the team make their choice in time for Saturday and I know that this is a big step forward for the team from 2003 when the drivers were racing and testing all of the time."

"I have been training this week with our physician and this really helps me as I have made some good improvements since I joined. The temperatures that we will be driving in next weekend will be a big change for me and I am hoping that I will be prepared for it."

Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance:

"I am very pleased with the progress that we have made on the R5 in comparison to where we were last year with the R4. We were two seconds a lap faster around Albert Park last weekend and to have made this sort of step forward is a reflection of the hard work and effort of all of those at Jaguar Racing as well as Cosworth Racing and Pi Research. The R5 is working very well with the tyres that Michelin is providing and to have Bjorn working on these during the Friday Practice sessions is another improvement for us."

"Although we suffered a hydraulic failure on Christian's car last weekend and a gearbox issue with Mark we have focused on these two areas over the last week and we believe that we now understand the reasons behind these and have taken action to prevent the same happening again. It is frustrating to say the least when we have completed over 6000km of testing to have not discovered these earlier however, how can you look for a problem when you don't know it exists in the first place. I certainly go to Sepang, upbeat and confident that we have a competitive car in the R5 and two drivers, both of which are capable of scoring points when the opportunity arises."

David Pitchforth - Managing Director:

"We will be looking to have two cars cross the finishing line next weekend and I strongly believe that with reliability on our side there is nothing stopping us from scoring points. At the Sepang circuit in 2003 we discovered that our fuel pump did not work as well in the high temperatures as it should have done so we have been doing a lot of testing with hot fuel. Mark's pace at Albert Park was evident and although we do not have any new parts on the car for this weekend we have a good competitive package and one that all three of our drivers enjoy driving."

"Our drivers are all on a training camp this week as they prepare themselves for the hot temperatures ahead. We even had Christian out in Langkawi over the winter period so we are doing everything we can to give them the best possible start to the season. I am really happy with the progress that our two new drivers are making, their commitment to the team and their respect and understanding for what we are trying to achieve is commendable. Mark as always is striving to extract the most from the R5 and I am hoping to see him continue to qualify as high on the grid as he did in Melbourne, we can't ask for more."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Bjorn Wirdheim , Christian Klien
Teams Jaguar Racing