Spanish GP: Jaguar preview

This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix marks a home race for Jaguar Racing driver Pedro de la Rosa. The Spaniard resides a few miles away in Barcelona and given how much testing is conducted at the Circuit de Cataluyna, it's a track that is very well...

This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix marks a home race for Jaguar Racing driver Pedro de la Rosa. The Spaniard resides a few miles away in Barcelona and given how much testing is conducted at the Circuit de Cataluyna, it's a track that is very well known to Pedro and his Jaguar Racing team. The team conducted a three-day test last week at Silverstone (UK) to help prepare for this weekend's race, but Jaguar Racing's efforts towards finding a solution to its' aerodynamic problems will take a little longer to address.

The team's new windtunnel, which opened two weeks ago, is now operating at 16 hours a day, but given the time required to generate significant aerodynamic improvements in Formula One, Jaguar Racing is working diligently towards a more longer term, mid-season target. In addition, Jaguar Racing today announces the arrival of another two aerodynamicists - Dr Mark Gillan from McLaren International and Peter Matchin from Arrows.

Niki Lauda - CEO and Team Principal

"It's been a tough start to the season and this weekend will certainly go some way towards making it tougher! Of all the tracks on the calendar, we know the Circuit de Cataluyna better than any of them. We have thousands of kilometres of testing under our belt at this track, but irrespective of our familiarity, the Spanish Grand Prix will pose big challenges for us this weekend."

"It's an outright aero circuit and until we have solved the aerodynamic issues on the Jaguar R3, we will unfortunately struggle on tracks like this. We are pushing forward on the aerodynamic development of R3 and until we find the answers that we're looking for, we have little choice but to extract the best from the package we have. I don't mean to sound downbeat or pessimistic - just realistic. The only way we are going to take a major step forward this season will be through significant aerodynamic improvements."

"Windtunnel work is extremely scientific in nature and the results from this meticulous work take time to generate. Our new Head of Aerodynamics, Ben Agathangelou, starts next week and in addition, we will have two new aerodynamicists joining us within the next fortnight. Dr Mark Gillan will be joining us from McLaren International and Peter Matchin will join us from Arrows. Both men will bring with them a new and experienced technical dimension to Jaguar Racing that will help accelerate our development path."

Eddie Irvine

"We know exactly what to expect from the Circuit de Catalunya. The biggest challenge for us will be the long fast corners and in this instance, aerodynamic balance and tyres will play a key part. The prevailing wind can also affect the consistency of aerodynamic performance around this track and achieving a good set-up is critical."

"The tyres should work better for us in Barcelona than they did in Imola because of the relatively hotter temperature. The Jaguar R3 didn't generate enough heat into the tyres at Imola and that's where we suffered. Barcelona should be a little kinder to us, but until we find a solution to the car's aerodynamic problems, the next few races will be very tough. Niki, Guenther and the team are working tirelessly towards finding an aerodynamic fix and over the next few races, we will just have to work even harder than normal at trying to maximise upon the package we have right now."

Pedro de la Rosa

"A home race brings an added pressure to what you would normally experience at other races. You become very aware of the expectation around you and while Formula One isn't as popular in Spain as motorcycling or World Rally, the Spanish Grand Prix does generate a lot of public interest. I made my debut for Jaguar Racing at the Spanish Grand Prix last year and had to retire because of an accident. This year, however, my knowledge has increased on all fronts. I know the team better, I understand the car much better and after countless hours of pounding around this track in testing, I know the place like the back of my hand."

"Scoring points will be very tough for us, but we will of course be doing our best to achieve the highest possible finishing position. Our aerodynamic team is working very hard towards correcting the problems on the Jaguar R3 and I am confident of seeing the fruits of their labour soon. The next few races will be tough, but rest assured that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For a team that only took delivery of its' windtunnel last week, we cannot expect miracles overnight, not that there is such a thing as miracles in Formula One! We have a clear target ahead of us and my aim is to push hard and help the team's development in anyway that I can."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Pedro de la Rosa , Niki Lauda
Teams McLaren , Jaguar Racing