Today's qualifying session proved to be a tough challenge for Jaguar Racing as the team struggled to find an optimum set-up on this notoriously difficult circuit. Both drivers suffered from understeer problems throughout the session and in the...
Today's qualifying session proved to be a tough challenge for Jaguar Racing as the team struggled to find an optimum set-up on this notoriously difficult circuit. Both drivers suffered from understeer problems throughout the session and in the end, Eddie Irvine could only manage 14th position while Pedro de la Rosa was two places down the order in 16th place. Over the course of the season however, the Jaguar R2 has tended to perform better in race trim than qualifying, but the difficulties posed by this particular circuit will make life harder than it's been all season for Jaguar Racing. With all development efforts firmly placed on next year's challenger, the team has extracted everything possible from the car in the run-up to this weekend's race. For Jaguar Racing, tomorrow's 73-lap race will now depend upon a good race strategy and a high retirement rate which may help push the Jaguar R2's further towards the front of the race.
"We simply can't get the car to work on this circuit. I suffered from massive understeer throughout the session and regardless of our efforts to put more front wing on the car, the problem got no better. The understeer problem was particularly bad on my last run even though we did so many things to get rid of it. The front-end of the car was shuddering a lot and we need to look at why this is happening. I tried following a Ferrari through the last corner and 'boom,' it was gone! We are losing a lot of time through this section and it seems there's nothing we can do about it. On my third run, I got the car as good as it was going to be, but there's still not enough in it. We have balance issues to address and there's a mountain of thinking to do before those red lights go out tomorrow. Our race pace is normally very good and we have little choice now but to invest everything into an excellent race strategy which may or may not see us salvage something from today's poor performance."
Pedro de la Rosa
"I'm very disappointed with today's qualifying session. We're not making the tyres work at their best and to be honest, we don't know why. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team has proved again how good the Michelin tyres are, but we don't seem able to extract their peak performance, maybe because we're not getting them up to the right temperature - I don't know. I could have got a better time today because I was held-up on my last two runs, but it wouldn't have made a massive difference. The car will certainly be better in race trim, but a lot of that is down to how well we can cure this understeer problem."
"Not the best qualifying session for Jaguar Racing, but it's no worse than we expected before we arrived. Simply put, our car is not suited to the challenges this circuit presents. The balance of our car isn't conducive to getting a perfect lap around this circuit and we are obviously suffering. The understeer issue has plagued the efforts of both drivers and we'll examine carefully what, if anything, can be done before tomorrow's race. On the whole though, people shouldn't be too surprised by today's result. We have worked diligently with a conservative car all season and at circuits like this, its weaknesses are exposed. We are working flat-out to address these issues for next year - hence the reason for not putting too many resources into the problems at this late stage of the season. Nonetheless, we have shown many times this season that our race pace allows us to compensate for poor qualifying positions and we'll work hard tonight in an effort to achieve exactly that."
Spare (Irvine): R2-06
de la Rosa: R2-07