US GP Jaguar preview

With its efforts now firmly focused on next year's challenge, the Jaguar Racing team will arrive in Indianapolis with no significant developments on the Jaguar R2 F1 car. The team this week spent three days testing at Silverstone (UK) and ...

With its efforts now firmly focused on next year's challenge, the Jaguar Racing team will arrive in Indianapolis with no significant developments on the Jaguar R2 F1 car. The team this week spent three days testing at Silverstone (UK) and concentrated on tyre evaluation, electronics and chassis set-up work in preparation for the remaining two races.

The 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway or 'The Brickyard,' as American motorsport fans know it, offers a very unusual track-combination. It represents quite a challenge for both engineers and drivers in that it boasts a high-speed banked corner that leads onto the longest full-throttle stretch in Formula One of around 20 seconds. Hockenheim comes close with 16 seconds. Not only does this place a high demand on the engine and brakes, but the set-up challenge is made even more difficult through the infield section of the circuit, which conversely requires a relatively high downforce.

At the last race in Monza, Pedro de la Rosa drove a strong race and was rewarded with two points after finishing in 5th place. The gap between Jaguar Racing and their immediate rival, Benetton-Renault, has now been narrowed to three points and every effort will be made to close the gap this weekend.

Niki Lauda, Team Principal
"Following the tragic events of the last week, we have been in close contact with the FIA, the Organisers of this event and our sponsors, and we collectively stand by our commitment to get on with what we are here to do. Unless we are informed otherwise, Jaguar Racing will compete at the Brickyard and I'm actually looking forward to it, particularly as it will be my first time at the famous oval. As far as the set up of the cars is concerned, it is a challenge to get the right combination. The drivers go from high speed banked curves to flat, low speed corners. When you have a banked corner it's easier for the driver because you don't fight the car as much as you do on a flat corner. Last year, I understand the teams used different set-ups depending on where their strengths lay. I hope with a little bit of luck that we can continue the success we enjoyed in Monza. The team did an excellent job and Pedro drove a faultless race. Eddie made a great start that put him in 7th place, but his race was marred by an engine problem. Getting two cars into the points has not been an easy task for us all season and we must be realistic going into this race. I want to set achievable goals and right now that means getting past Benetton-Renault in the Championship standings."

Eddie Irvine
"I like the USA and spend a lot of my free time here, so I am glad we are going to Indy at this difficult time for the American people. I think it's the right thing to do, even if the mood is bound to be subdued. As for the racing itself, the Brickyard is a good venue, but the track we race on is a strange mix of Monza and Budapest, because you have the fast section including the banking and then you have an infield, which is even twistier than the Hungaroring. Of course that makes it hard to get the right compromise set-up for both sections. Speed wise its pretty similar to the Montreal track, except that here you have to run much higher downforce than in Canada, to cope with the twisty bits. Running relatively high downforce means the tyres are put under more strain on the quick parts and this will be something of an unknown factor for Michelin, who haven't been here before. But, at the end of the day, the most important thing will be for all of us to try and put on a good show, given the circumstances under which we are going there."

Pedro de la Rosa
"It's a quick circuit because you have two curves with banking and a long straight. Basically it's very tricky because most of the corners are through very slow sections. You have to decide on the best set-up -- use a lot of downforce and lose a lot of time on the straight, or run low downforce and risk slow entrance into the corners. We will decide in practice, which is the best way to go. We are aiming to build on the excellent result we achieved in Monza and get even more points in the final two races. We know that it is going to be difficult though."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Pedro de la Rosa , Niki Lauda
Teams Benetton , Jaguar Racing