After an encouraging turnaround at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing now prepare themselves for the opening European round at Imola. Between Brazil and this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing last week spent three days testing at...
After an encouraging turnaround at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing now prepare themselves for the opening European round at Imola. Between Brazil and this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing last week spent three days testing at the Valencia circuit in Southern Spain where both Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa undertook testing duties, generating nearly 600 kilometres in test mileage.
The test was aimed at strengthening further the team's aerodynamic understanding of the Jaguar R3. The on-going aerodynamic work at test sessions is at last being fed directly into the team's own windtunnel which opened last week in Bicester (Oxfordshire, UK). Located just 30 miles from Jaguar Racing's HQ in Milton Keynes, the state-of-the-art windtunnel is in operation for 16 hours a day and represents a major step forward in practicality terms from the previous windtunnel which was not owned by the team and located over 7,000 miles away in California, North America.
Niki Lauda - Chief Executive Officer and Team Principal
"I was very encouraged by our improved form over the whole of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. We understood the R3 better than we have done so far this season and our progress was rewarded with a good set-up that worked well at Interlagos. Combine this with a very good Michelin compound and it isn't hard to see why we climbed up the order relative to the opening two races of the season."
"Imola, however, will be tough. Not only might the cooler weather affect tyre performance, but the low downforce nature of this circuit makes for a bigger challenger than Brazil. We have made some good progress in recent weeks, but there isn't a significant new development on the Jaguar R3 for Imola. It will be a few weeks before we see a noticeable step forward in aero terms and in the meantime, we will continue to extract the best from the package we have. Our windtunnel is now operational and coupled with Ben Agathangelou's arrival from Renault F1 in three weeks time (Jaguar Racing's new Head of Aerodynamics), there is a renewed optimism going into the European rounds."
"R3's reliability record speaks for itself and from the progress we made in Brazil, it's clear that there's a lot of untapped potential in this package. Our immediate aim, therefore, is to understand how we can extract more pace from the R3 and this is why the arrival of our own windtunnel is so critical towards achieving this goal quickly."
"With testing taking-up so much of our time, it's nice to be racing in Europe again where we are not having to undertake lengthy flights between races and test sessions. The first three races of the season don't lend themselves well to our intense testing schedule, but now things will get a little easier for everyone concerned. Even though the Imola track has been somewhat 'over-tamed' with too many chicanes, it remains an interesting circuit and is quite challenging in places."
"Given that we arrive in Imola with no major aerodynamic developments, I expect a tough weekend, albeit a positive one in terms of strengthening further our understanding of the R3. We took a good step forward in Brazil and until we make an aerodynamic breakthrough over the next few weeks, it's important that we march into Imola with the same momentum that we left Brazil with."
Pedro de la Rosa
"Getting through the chicanes well and understanding how to tackle the kerbs is an important factor at Imola. We haven't yet got the outright speed that we need and our ability to generate a good set-up will be critical to making progress at San Marino. I was pleased with what we learned in Brazil in that we achieved a much better understanding of the package. We are now addressing the aerodynamic challenge, but this progress will not manifest itself overnight."
"The windtunnel programme is now well underway and combined with Niki's and Guenther's on-going recruitment drive towards hiring the best aerodynamicists, we must now be patient and wait for the product of this new chapter in Jaguar Racing’' growth. In the meantime, Eddie and I will continue to do whatever we have to in an effort to help speed-up the development path ahead of us."