Mixed fortunes for Jaguar drivers Johnny and Eddie finish seventh and 12th in Friday practice It was a case of bad news followed by good for Jaguar Racing at Imola, after a competitive lap time from Johnny Herbert made up for an early engine...
Mixed fortunes for Jaguar drivers
Johnny and Eddie finish seventh and 12th in Friday practice It was a case of bad news followed by good for Jaguar Racing at Imola, after a competitive lap time from Johnny Herbert made up for an early engine failure.
Johnny pulled off the track after just seven laps in the morning session when a cloud of smoke erupted from the rear of his car. The team later discovered that a water system leak had led to the problem.
Johnny had no major worries in the afternoon on the way to seventh place, setting a best time of 1m28.139s - just 1.195s behind the pacesetting Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.
"The balance of the car at this stage of the race weekend is as good as I've had so far this season, which is encouraging for tomorrow," said Johnny. "This morning's failure shows that we still have some work to do on reliability."
Eddie Irvine was a promising third fastest in the morning on 1m28.566s, but he kept with the same set of tyres all day and was not in a position to go any faster. As others improved, he slipped back to an eventual 12th. Eddie noted that it's too early to say if a new underfloor has solved the handling problems the team has experienced this year.
"We just kept the fuel and kept the tyres. It's difficult to say much about the car, because by the end the tyres were just knackered, and I was going round for the sake of going round really! So we don't know. The floor seems better in one way, but worse in another. We will find out tomorrow - qualifying tells it all."
Paul Stewart was happy with the outcome of the day. "Eddie was fast in this morning's session and then Johnny was seventh in the afternoon, so it was pretty good. We were doing some good set-up and tyre evaluation work. Eddie dropped down the order because he was working on some stuff, and went in a direction that he wasn't comfortable with. That wasted a bit of time, but it's all part of discovering what we want to do tomorrow."
Paul finds himself in an unusual situation, because for the first time since he started working in F1, his father Jackie is not present at a grand prix. When Jackie announced that he was taking a step back, he confirmed that he would no longer attend all the races, and instead he will be at this weekend's British F3 race at Croft.
"We're just getting on with it," said Paul. "But I did speak to him on the phone at the end of the session!"