Tough session for Jaguar Racing in Spain Team disappointed with 10th and 15th in qualifying at Barcelona It was a disappointing qualifying session for Jaguar Racing in Spain as Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert earned 10th and 15th places ...
Tough session for Jaguar Racing in Spain
Team disappointed with 10th and 15th in qualifying at Barcelona It was a disappointing qualifying session for Jaguar Racing in Spain as Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert earned 10th and 15th places respectively. Eddie maintained his record of qualifying in the top 10 at every race so far this season, although that was of little comfort to the disappointed Ulsterman, who felt that he should have been higher up the order.
"To be honest, I could have equalled Frentzen," said Eddie. "The car's just been difficult today. It's been difficult all weekend, but we had a really nice car at the test last week. We made some changes and I thought that's the step that we needed to make. I reckoned we'd gained three or four tenths. However, changes we've made since then have wiped out that advantage. We need to look at that more closely, because there's no way that we should be that slow."
Eddie also struggled to find a clear lap, and finished his allocation of 12 laps well before the end so he would not get caught in the usual traffic jam as everyone waited until the last minute.
"I aborted two,” he said. “Once, Hakkinen totally messed me up. We changed the car on the second one, but it wasn't better, so I came back in. The last T1 was not so good, T2 was pretty okay, and on T3 I lost the rear end at the last hairpin and it cost me two tenths. That might have got me eighth. I felt I could get into the low 1m22s with no traffic. I wanted to miss the 'Happy Hour' at the end."
Johnny admitted that he was frustrated to be back in 15th spot after a promising test.
"It's disappointing for everyone,” he said. “A couple of tenths would have made a big difference, but if you look down the grid, everyone would be saying the same thing. The wind is quite a factor. It huffs and puffs on some laps and won't blow on another, and you'll be okay. It's about trying to get the right huff and puff at the right time.
"After this morning I tried less wing, but realised it wasn't the way to go, so I put it back for the last two runs. It was better, but unfortunately on my last run I had a bit of a moment. I went a bit wide and lost some time there."
Johnny's day began with a rear suspension failure in the first morning session. He got the car safely back to the pits.
"It was something you don't need!” he said. “Thankfully, I was called in that lap so I braked a little earlier for the first corner. When I braked it tried to turn right, but I caught it. It wasn't a big moment, but you don't need that to happen at a grand prix weekend."
Technical director Gary Anderson agreed that the team hadn't quite got the R1 dialled into this notoriously tricky circuit.
"We should be further up, really," he said. "Here, if the balance is off you run wide, the track’s dirty and you just don't get the grip. Make a small adjustment to the car and you can lose half a second if you don't quite get it right. And we've got to really. This place is bloody strange!
"We're doing bits and pieces to try and move forward a bit, but unfortunately it's just going to take a bit of time, that's all. Three tenths would put us seventh and make us reasonably happy."
Gary said the team was convinced that Johnny's suspension problem was a one-off. "It was something out of the blue. We've done all the running this year with the same design so it's a bit odd. In fact, we've done 20,000kms, so we assume that something was wrong with that particular bit."
The team is confident that no similar problems will affect them in the race tomorrow, which starts at 1pm (BST)