The Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya today produced mixed fortunes for Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia who started the race from 12th and 16th places respectively. Antonio's race, however, ended on the grid...
The Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya today produced mixed fortunes for Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia who started the race from 12th and 16th places respectively. Antonio's race, however, ended on the grid with what appears to be a launch control failure and because he didn't get off the line, the McLaren-Mercedes of Kimi Raikkonen was unable to avoid him and crashed into the back of the Jaguar R4.
The Safety Car was deployed for four laps while the debris was cleared off the start-finish straight and when the race began, Mark began his quest for championship points. At the end of the 65-lap race, Mark finished in 7th place and collected Jaguar's first championship points of the season.
David Pitchforth, Managing Director:
"A day of mixed emotions! It's great to have finally been rewarded for all our hard work with two vital championship points. Mark did a tremendous job out there today and had he not have been boxed in going into the first corner, he would have been even higher today. Jarno Trulli and David Coulthard had a coming together at the first corner and several cars, including Mark, had to take evasive action that cost us places."
"Nonetheless, we came into this weekend with reliability in mind and coupled with the car's competitiveness, we leave Barcelona very pleased, albeit we need to understand what happened to Antonio. We spent three-days in Mugello last week working on various things including launch control and we experienced no issues - until today, of course. At the time of writing, we have not had the car returned to us and until we do, I cannot say exactly what happened. Suffice to say that we are extremely disappointed not to have got Antonio off the line."
"We now have three days of testing next week at Paul Ricard in Southern France and we'll concentrate on tyres, mechanical work and launch control again. Both Mark and Antonio will share testing duties and given the pace of the Jaguar today, I'm sure both drivers will be raring to take to the A1-Ring in two weeks time."
"I am delighted with the result and to take two championship points back to the workforce is just reward for their hardwork. I made a good start and I was trying to get on the inside of Frentzen into the first corner. I then got on the inside of Villeneuve going into turn two and then I starting seeing the dust from Trulli and Coulthard's incident. I had no choice but to take to the gravel but I was then worried about hitting Coulthard who was bouncing around in front of me."
"Luckily, I saved my front wing but I then got onto the radio to see whether we should change our strategy because I was worried about being stuck behind the Minardis. As it was, we stuck to the plan and given that our goal was reliability, I am very pleased to have crossed the finishing line in 7th place. I am not saying we are bulletproof but we have clearly taken some positive steps since Imola."
"Michelin did an excellent job and while we would have liked to have done a slightly better job in qualifying, we are certainly heading in the right direction. Before the weekend, we would have been happy with 7th place and all credit must go to the guys back at base who deserve it. The aim now is to capitalise upon today's data and with three-days at Paul Ricard next week, the Jaguar R4 should be looking good in Austria too."
"I am very disappointed indeed. We achieved some good work on the car this weekend and up until the race, I think we generated more mileage over the past two days than anyone. With that in mind, it is very unfortunate not to have taken advantage of that in the race. Quite simply, the launch control system failed - exactly as it did in Imola - and unfortunately for Kimi, he was a victim of the fall- out. The team will undertake an investigation into this and in the meantime, I will focus my efforts onto our Paul Ricard test next week. As demonstrated in the race today, the car is clearly competitive and I am looking forward to racing the R4 in Austria in two weeks from now."
Best time: 1:21.967