Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang, Kuala Lumpur - Sunday, March 17th, 2002 The Jaguar Racing team was unlucky to not score points in today's Malaysian Grand Prix, held over 56 laps of the Sepang circuit in sweltering conditions. Although Pedro de la...
Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang, Kuala Lumpur - Sunday, March 17th, 2002
The Jaguar Racing team was unlucky to not score points in today's Malaysian Grand Prix, held over 56 laps of the Sepang circuit in sweltering conditions. Although Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine started towards the back of the grid in 17th and 20th place respectively, a broadly reliable race pace and the misfortune of other competitors should have enabled the drivers to score at least a point.
As it was, Pedro lost time with an early, unscheduled pit stop on lap seven to replace a damaged front wing after a coming together with the BAR-Honda of Olivier Panis. Pedro eventually finished in 10th place. Meanwhile, Eddie had to retire after 31 laps when his car developed a mechanical problem caused by a slipping clutch. Nevertheless, valuable track data regarding the Jaguar R3 has been acquired by the team. Next week's test at Barcelona in Spain will be critical towards reaching a decision on how best the team moves forward from here on.
Niki Lauda, Team Principal
"We should have scored points today, but both our drivers were involved in accidents and that cost us. Eddie may have dropped out anyway because of the hydraulic pressure loss, but Pedro should have been higher up the order. Nonetheless, we have again proved that regardless of starting at the back of the grid, we have the capability to fight for race points. Qualifying higher up the grid will make our lives a lot easier in this respect and my immediate priority is to find more speed."
"We will test the R3 against the R2 in Barcelona next week and that will determine what we do from here. We will, however, race the R3 in Brazil. That is for sure. We do not have the capacity or the time to develop three R2s in time for Brazil. Should we decide to revert to the R2 for a few races, Imola could be the starting point, but not Brazil."
Pedro de la Rosa
"That was a very tough race indeed. The heat conditions were very extreme. Nonetheless, I pushed as hard as possible out there. The car felt reasonably well balanced, but I didn't help myself by hitting Panis. I thought he was going to leave some room for me to overtake and in the end, I had nowhere to go but hit him. It was my fault."
"Given that I was on a two-stop strategy, I kept attacking but lost downforce every time I got behind Sato's Jordan-Honda. Finishing 10th highlighted the relative reliability of the R3 in a race that saw many retirements through attrition. Speed is what we lack and our attention now turns to our three-day test in Barcelona next week where we will conduct back-to-back tests with last year's R2."
"That was a tough race - while it lasted! We had no choice but to push hard and that's what I did. I was up to 9th place when I came up behind the Minardi of Alex Yoong. He was being given the blue flag and that was my cue to overtake. He moved over and as I went past, he cut right across my path and took the front wing off. I came into the pits and the team did an excellent job in replacing the front wing."
"I re-joined the race in 11th place and while the car was a challenge to drive, I felt we had a chance out there today. Our race pace was quicker than Jordan-Honda, Toyota and BAR-Honda. Then, just before the pit-stop, I lost hydraulic pressure and that meant that I couldn't engage the clutch. We had no choice but to retire. Again, we've had a difficult weekend and I am now looking forward to making progress in Barcelona next week. With Niki and Guenther at the helm, I am very confident of finding a way forward."
Weather: Dry/hazy sun Air temperature: 34 degrees
Track temperature: 38-41 degrees
Pedro de la Rosa Position: 10th (1 lap down)
Eddie Irvine Position: DNF
T-car (spare) chassis: R3-01