A bitter end to a disappointing weekend for Jaguar Racing as both Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa were forced to retire from the San Marino Grand Prix. From having started the race in 18th and 21st positions respectively, both drivers had little...
A bitter end to a disappointing weekend for Jaguar Racing as both Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa were forced to retire from the San Marino Grand Prix. From having started the race in 18th and 21st positions respectively, both drivers had little choice but to push hard and hope for Imola's high attrition rate to work in their favour. Instead, it worked against them. The team arrived in Imola with the best reliability record in the pitlane, but by lap 45 both drivers had retired with exactly the same problem - a drive shaft failure - that appears to have been caused by the notorious kerbs of the Imola track.
The team will now move onto Silverstone (UK) for a three-day test aimed at understanding further the aerodynamic issues that currently plague the Jaguar R3.
Niki Lauda, Team principal
"A frustrating weekend for the whole team. It's a strange thing to have happened, but it appears that both cars were damaged by the kerbing around the chicanes. Furthermore, the Jaguar R3 is clearly not performing at a level that it is capable of and until we understand exactly the aerodynamic issues, we are not likely to see much progress over the next couple races. Our package coupled with the Michelin tyres has performed much better in higher temperatures and we expected these problems before we came to Imola this weekend. Nonetheless, we are acutely aware of the challenge ahead of us and we are pushing forward on development as fast as we possibly can. Our new windtunnel will not generate solutions overnight and we must be patient while the issues are being addressed and corrected."
"It certainly was not the best weekend we've had. I knew that we were going to struggle with this circuit as the temperatures are never as high here as we would like, but given our reliability record, I did not expect to retire. Starting in 18th place on the grid is always a tall order and up to my retirement I was pushing the car all the way to gain as many places as possible. The overall performance, however, is just not there right now. As Niki says, we'll keep on pushing and take full advantage of the windtunnel resource that we finally have at our disposal. Our challenge is to unlock the potential that we know the Jaguar R3 has."
Pedro de la Rosa
"I knew that this was going to be a hard race, but I am disappointed to have retired. Our reliability to date has been very good and it is frustrating to have exited the race with a mechanical problem. Having finished the first three races, however, a retirement was on the books at some point, I suppose. Aerodynamically, we have a lot of work ahead of us and all we can do now is to work very hard at correcting the issues. Although the circuit was hotter today than it has been all weekend, we still suffered in terms of outright pace. The lack of downforce we are experiencing is not conducive to getting the best from the Michelin tyres and at an aero circuit like Imola, you get punished very hard for problems like the ones we are currently suffering from."
Eddie Irvine Position: DNF
Best time: 1:27.461
Chassis: R3-03 T-car chassis: R3-01
Pedro de la Rosa Position: DNF
Best time: 1:27.104