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Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles

 

5th July 2003

FRENCH GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Weather: Dry and cloudy

Track temp: 30 degrees

Air temp: 21 degrees

Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia managed to extract the maximum from the Jaguar R4 and Michelin package as the final qualifying session got underway at Magny Cours this afternoon. Mark and Antonio qualified in 9th and 11th positions respectively thereby putting the Jaguar R4s in another points scoring position for tomorrow’s 70-lap race. Unlike yesterday, the weather stayed dry but from the beginning of the session to when Mark went out in 14th place, the track temperature had dropped by almost 4 degrees. The team’s preparation again this weekend has been entirely focused on race strategy as opposed to qualifying and Jaguar remains optimistic about challenging for more championship points tomorrow. Reliability has not been an issue all weekend and both drivers are positive about the pace and balance of the Jaguar R4.

Dr Mark Gillan- Head of Vehicle Performance

We’ve had another good day and no issues with the car. Our morning sessions were focused on tyre work something we haven’t been able to do too much of in dry conditions this weekend. We also undertook some longer runs this morning and both drivers are very pleased with the pace and balance of the Jaguar R4. Michelin’s contribution has again been nothing short of excellent and our tyre choice for tomorrow’s race is correct. Both drivers did a good job in qualifying and given that we are sitting behind the top four teams, there isn’t much more we could have done at this stage of our development. The reliability and competitiveness of the Jaguar R4 continues to strengthen and assuming there are no wild surprises tomorrow, our strategy should help us scrap for points.

Mark Webber
Position: 9th Best time: 1:16.308
Chassis: R4-04 T-Car: R4-03

A pleasing lap but I felt I could have maybe squeezed an extra couple of tenths out of the car given that I achieved a 1.16.01s this morning. Michelin obviously have the upper hand in the tyre war right now and combined with our ever-improving race package, I’d say we are well placed for more points in tomorrow’s race. The top four teams are doing a great job and we need more time to develop and attack them not something we can achieve overnight. Work on next year’s car is already well underway and in the meantime we must remain focused on getting the maximum from what we have. The balance and speed of the R4 has been very good this weekend and assuming we can again be reliable tomorrow, our race strategy should work well in our favour. The first few laps will be very interesting, especially around some of the new corners and track modifications.

Antonio Pizzonia
Position: 11th Best time: 1:16.965
Chassis: R4-05

That was a good lap and the best I could have got from the car. We achieved some good work this morning and spent a lot of time doing long runs and thinking carefully about tyre choice for the race tomorrow. We have worked very carefully on race strategy too and I must say that I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. The team has done a very good job this weekend and combined with Michelin’s strengths, there is nothing to stop us from entering the point’s challenge tomorrow. A lot obviously depends on what happens up front but we are well prepared and that’s the best we can hope for.


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