|Thursday, 07-Dec-2023 20:29:04 CET|
Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles
June 9 2003
CANADIAN GRAND PRIX - PREVIEW
Jaguar Racing travels to Montreal (Canada) this week to compete in the eighth round of the Formula One World Championship. After a frustrating end to the Monaco Grand Prix the team in conjunction with partners Cosworth Racing and Pi Research has been working hard both on and off-track to understand and correct the issues that forced both Mark Webber (26) and Antonio Pizzonia (22) to retire from the race. After a two-day test at Fords private testing ground in Lommel (Belgium) the team is encouraged by the steps taken and is looking forward to getting back on track at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, where the overtaking opportunities always make for an exciting race. With long straights and only moderate to low downforce required the R4 should be comfortable on-track but as always until Friday free testing it is difficult to know how driver and machine will fair.
David Pitchforth - Managing Director
Having completed a successful issue-free track programme on the Thursday and Saturday prior to the Monaco race we were unfortunate to have neither car finish Sundays race. In order to understand these issues Cosworth and Pi have spent the last week with us working here at the factory and in Lommel with Mark testing for us for two days. We are now looking forward to Montreal, although we are more than aware of the difficulties that this circuit poses. Last year many of the cars had cooling system problems because of the air-pollen. Whether or not we face the same this time around we will not actually know until Friday free testing. The circuit should actually suit the R4 because of the medium to low downforce required. We have taken some good steps forward in the last twelve months on our aero-package but like everything we still have a long way to go before we will achieve what we know we are capable of. Both drivers were here at the factory in Milton Keynes (UK) and with Cosworth Racing (UK) last week and the motivation within the team remains high
Mark Webber (26)
Montreal is a great place and for me, one of the best races. A combination of the friendly people off-track and the good overtaking opportunities on-track makes for a good weekend. The track should suit the R4, with its medium to low downforce and long straights we are looking forward to having a good package. I have spent two days testing this week and we have been addressing the issues that we suffered in Monaco. I also visited the factory in Milton Keynes and Cosworth Racing in Northampton last week and I am pleased to see that the team is so upbeat. Our relationship with Michelin is good and they have been producing some competitive compounds and basically doing a fantastic job. History dictates that they work well in Montreal so of course we will be looking to reward them for their hard work. I leave for Canada on Monday as I am hoping to get some extra training in, perhaps some mountain-biking, as the area is perfect for this.
Antonio Pizzonia (22)
Everything about the Canadian Grand Prix will be new to me, as I have never visited the circuit or the country before. From what I have heard about both I think I am going to have a good time there. I have watched it on television and see what the other drivers have said about it so have an impression of a circuit that I have even seen likened to Melbourne. It is a medium to low downforce circuit and I think the engineers have a very critical job in finding the correct downforce level. It is a circuit where overtaking is possible, good brakes are very important and I get the impression that you have to be very precise about where you position the car on the track. While I was disappointed with the final result from Monaco, I felt we made a few steps forward over the weekend. Up to Sunday the car had been reliable and I had been able to do a lot of laps. I would like to continue with this theme in Montreal and the finish line would be a good result for me in Canada.
1. Monaco was a disappointing race with neither car finishing. What have you been doing to address the issues behind the R4s 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 Marks car because of an engine contamination issue and Antonios 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 made in-roads, we have a long way to go.
2. 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 the circuit in addition to working on a normal test programme.
3. 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 we 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 option tyres and this makes all the difference to our overall race strategy. I am looking forward to seeing how they do in Canada; as if history has anything to go by they have a good track record.
2002 FACT AND FIGURES
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes +1.132s
Rubens Barrichello Scuderia Ferrari 2002 +7.082s
Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes +37.563s
Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda +42.812s
Jarno Trulli Renault +48.947s
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