San Marino GP: Jaguar preview

Jaguar Racing heads to San Marino (Italy) this week to contest the first of the European races on the 2004 Formula One calendar. The team has been working non-stop since both Mark Webber (27) and Christian Klien (21) finished the Bahrain Grand...

Jaguar Racing heads to San Marino (Italy) this week to contest the first of the European races on the 2004 Formula One calendar. The team has been working non-stop since both Mark Webber (27) and Christian Klien (21) finished the Bahrain Grand Prix. The three-week break has seen the team test in both Barcelona (Spain) and Paul Ricard (France) where the team has been working on weight distribution, tyre compounds and front wing ratios in preparation for Imola.

After being rewarded with their first point at the new Bahrain circuit the team is keen to build on this and will be aiming to collect more points at the forthcoming race. A favourite track for both Mark and newcomer Christian the weekend promises to be an exciting one. With a new sponsor on the car in the form of AMIK Italia, the team is looking forward to getting out on track and putting the R5 through its paces.

Mark Webber:

"The first three races were not as rewarding as we would have liked them to have been and so I am really keen to get out onto the European tracks to start showing what the R5 is really capable of. I was pleased with our first Championship point as the Bahrain circuit was very challenging both on the driver and the car and it was much deserved. The track at San Marino is one I know much better, I won there with F3000 in 2001."

"It's always special as it signals our return to Europe, which after our three fly-aways is very welcome and for me personally I really like Italy and the surrounding area of San Marino. Since Bahrain I have been testing with the team, first in Barcelona and then at Paul Ricard. We have been focusing on the tyres and the general set-up of the car and I am pleased with our progress. Testing is a crucial part of the process and it is often frustrating doing the long-haul races when you can't really get back to work on testing during the week."

"The team has been doing a good job in the last few weeks working at Milton Keynes (UK) and in Northampton (UK) at Cosworth Racing. I know that people are looking forward to getting back out on track and seeing what progress we have made. Michelin have done an outstanding job over the last three races and we are expecting good things from them on European soil."

Christian Klien:

"I am really excited about going to San Marino and getting the R5 out on track. The circuit is one of my favourites, if not my favourite. I know it quite well as I have done a lot of races there and it really makes a difference when you know the track. The first three races were very demanding and insightful and I am pleased that I managed to finish them all, but when you are always arriving at a new place you spend a lot of time familiarising yourself with the circuit as opposed to preparing the car."

"Since Bahrain we have been doing extensive testing at different tracks and every lap I do helps me understand more about the R5 and how I can extract the best from it. Now that we have one point for the team I am looking forward to seeing what I can do to add to that total."

Björn Wirdheim:

"I am feeling more and more comfortable with the team as we progress through the season and I am pleased that the European races are now approaching. I know the European circuits because of my F3000 experience. This is going to make my job a lot easier as with my testing role I need to be testing the car not the tracks and the last three race circuits were all new to me. The San Marino track is going to be good for us as drivers as we all know the track and this will take a lot of the pressure away, particularly from Christian and I who had been trying to drive and learn the track as quickly as possible."

"I have been spending some time with the team in Milton Keynes since Bahrain and I have been working alongside my engineer to understand how we are progressing with the R5. Both Mark and Christian have also been testing so it has been a case of all hands on deck in preparation for the next race. We are capable of more points and I will be doing what I can this Friday to support the team in this goal."

Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance:

"We have been carrying out some extensive testing with both Mark and Christian since Bahrain. Our successful testing programme has focused on, amongst other areas, continuing development in the areas of brakes, aerodynamic efficiency, weight distribution and the engine power of the R5. As the Imola circuit is traditionally quite hard on the car, for example the kerbs can be very hard through the chicane and the brakes are used excessively we have been concentrating on set-up and also working with AP and Brembo on braking performance."

"We are pleased with our progress in these areas, but as with many of our minor changes, until you get out on to the track and start racing you don't see the results. We have also been making some other minor changes to the car but as always we are continuously developing the car and just because you can't see a visible changes does not mean we have not taken steps forward. I am looking forward to seeing the cars on track on Friday, as all drivers know this circuit it would be good to see some friendly competition in the time sheets."

David Pitchforth - Managing Director:

"Returning to the European circuits signals a return to the tracks that we all know well. The engineers, the mechanics and the drivers all feel comfortable back in European territory and since we have a lot of simulation information for Imola, this makes it easier for us to focus on making the car faster from the first minute we are out on track for Friday testing. The track requires relatively high downforce and we are looking at about 65- 70% throttle, coupled with the high kerbs and corners the car is given a good shake, along with the driver!"

"Imola is not an easy track to score points at, there are few overtaking opportunities so as always, qualifying will be crucial. I am pleased with our progress in qualifying so far although I would like to see both cars consistently further up the grid in order for us to have a better chance of points. I will not be attending this first European race as I am focusing on our wind tunnel developments in the UK and our manufacturing process, however our new Head of Marketing Services, Iain Brown and Head of Business Development, Mark Gallagher will be. We will also be joined in Imola by one of our new sponsors AMIK Italia, an importer and distributor of Chemical products and primary materials"

-jaguar-

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