Malaysian GP: Jaguar race notes

An action packed Malaysian Grand Prix ended in disappointment for Jaguar Racing today with both Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia retiring. A track temperature of 41 degrees Celsius greeted the drivers and while the threat of rain seemed probable...

An action packed Malaysian Grand Prix ended in disappointment for Jaguar Racing today with both Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia retiring. A track temperature of 41 degrees Celsius greeted the drivers and while the threat of rain seemed probable before the race began, it didn't materialise and in fact, the track temperature increased over the duration of the 56-lap race. Antonio began the race from 15th place on the grid with Mark starting just behind in 16th -- positions that reflected the strategy going into the race given fuel loads following yesterday's second qualifying session. A first corner accident involving several cars affected Antonio who was hit from behind and was left with no choice but to pit at the end of the first lap for a replacement nose cone.

Mark cleverly weaved his way through the first corner incident and by lap five had moved up to 8th place. On lap fifteen, however, a planned pit stop cost Mark considerable time because of a clutch issue that delayed his exit by almost thirty seconds. Mark re-joined the race in 12th place and drove a very determined second stint that moved him up to 8th place. An oil consumption issue, however, meant that Mark's race ended prematurely with the team pulling him into the garage on lap 35. Antonio's race ended on lap 43 with a suspected brake problem, albeit still under investigation.

Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance:

"It's been a tough weekend right from the beginning. We have suffered several issues this weekend with the most prominent being the fuel pick-up problem. This raised its head again during the race but our strategy looked as if it had compensated for it."

"The first corner incident affected several cars but it was certainly no fault of Antonio who ended up the victim. His front wing was damaged and having to pit at the end of the first lap effectively cost him his race. Mark, however, drove a storming race today but his points reward was robbed by a loss of engine oil problem. We were monitoring the problem throughout but it soon became clear that Mark was not going to finish the race and in an effort to avoid serious damage to the engine, we took pre-emptive action and called him in."

"We are not entirely sure what caused Antonio to spin out of the race but it appears to be a brake problem. The pace of the Jaguar R4 was again very encouraging and upon examination of Mark's sector times, it is clear to see that he was right on the pace today, particularly in sectors one and two. Very impressive given the handicap he was carrying versus the fuel load. Both drivers have worked hard this weekend and their approach, despite the retirements, remains very professional and positive."

"It's Antonio's home race next at Interlagos in Brazil and everyone at Jaguar Racing will be working tirelessly to correct the frustrating issues that have affected us here this weekend. The pace is clearly there, no doubt. Making it reliable will, I'm sure, generate points and that's obviously what we are all now focused on doing."

Mark Webber:

"Disappointing, yes, but there is a lot to be encouraged about when it comes to the pace of our race car. The fuel pick-up problem that has plagued us all weekend came and went throughout my race but nonetheless, the speed and balance were very good given the fuel strategy we employed. I managed to squeeze my way through the first corner incident and then began pushing as hard as I could."

"The Michelin tyre worked very well today and we could have got points from this race today -- even after the delay in the pit-lane after my first pit stop. That probably cost me around 30 seconds but once back out, the performance of the car shone through, albeit until lap 35 when we had no choice but to call it a day. The potential of this car is clear and we must remain calm, get our heads down and get on with the task of tapping into the car's true capability."

Antonio Pizzonia:

"My race effectively ended after the first corner incident. I was hit from behind and pushed into another car that caused the front wing damage. Coming into the pits on lap one cost me too much time to make any real impact on the race. Nonetheless, race experience is something that I am short of and it was important to keep pushing and getting mileage under my belt. The balance and feel of the Jaguar R4 was quite good but on lap 43, it all ended with what felt like a brake problem. The back end of the car snapped and I was a passenger as it spun into the gravel. My home race is next and given how much work is going into solving the niggles from this weekend, I am confident of making better progress at Interlagos."

Mark Webber
Position: DNF
Best time: 1:38.464
Chassis: R4-01

Antonio Pizzonia
Position: DNF
Best time: 1:38.572
Chassis : R4-03
T-Car: R4-02


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber