Three questions to Jaguar's Dr Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix Q: Monaco was a disappointing race with neither car finishing. What have you been doing to address the issues behind the R4's ...
Three questions to Jaguar's Dr Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix
Q: Monaco was a disappointing race with neither car finishing. What have you been doing to address the issues behind the R4's reliability?
"The pace of the car is evident thanks to some of the lap times that Mark has been producing in recent races like Monaco, however, unfortunately it is reliability that is our weakest area. We suffered two separate issues in Monaco which forced us to retire Mark's car because of an engine contamination issue and Antonio's because an electrical control issue."
"Cosworth Racing, Pi and ourselves have been working both in our factories and on-track in Lommel to address these. We work as a good team with high motivation and it is this sort of commitment that will start to be reflected in our reliability. Reliability is a long-term project and one that although we have m roads, we have a long way to go."
Q: The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit (Montreal) requires medium to low downforce. How will this suit the R4 and what are your expectations?
"Our aerodynamic department has done a fantastic job in recent months to take the R4 in the direction that it should be going in terms of aero-efficiency. Our Cosworth CR5 - V10 engine is strong and these two factors are likely to suit the lower downforce and long straights of the Canadian circuit. However, looking back to 2002, many of the teams suffered cooling issues as a result of the pollen, so even despite having a well-prepared car, there are some things that are slightly more difficult to plan for."
"Brakes are another area where the cars can have problems, drivers have been known to literally have no brakes left! We go to Montreal well prepared and we hope that that will stand us in good stead for the weekend. Our Friday free-testing has been and continues to be a huge help to us, especially at races where Antonio has no experience. Montreal is one such place so we will of course be using this time to help him familiarise himself with t circuit in addition to working on a normal test programme".
Q: As a result of the new qualifying rules, your tyre strategy over a race weekend is all-important. How is the R4 working with the Michelins?
"Jaguar Racing has a very good relationship with Michelin. We work closely with them to ensure w optimise our tyre strategy over a race weekend. They have been spending a lot of time with us in the garage and this hard work is again reflected in the impressive lap-times that Mark has been recording over the last three races. They are consistently providing us with good prime and opti tyres and this makes all the difference to our overall race strategy. I am looking forward to se how they do in Canada; as if history has anything to go by they have a good track record"