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Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles

 

August 24th 2003

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX

Weather: Dry and warm
Track temp: 47 degrees
Air temp: 28 degrees

Jaguar Racing logoStarting from third place today at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mark Webber put on a very impressive performance to finish the 70-lap race in 6th place behind the Renault of Fernando Alonso and both BMW Williams and McLaren Mercedes. As a result, Jaguar Racing has been rewarded with three valuable championship points and with only three races left on the calendar, share fifth place with BAR-Honda on 15 points. Justin Wilson, who started from 12th place, also drove a strong race but was forced to retire on lap 44 with a suspected engine problem. Both drivers ran a three-stop strategy like most other teams and in Markís case, the recent hard work alongside Michelin paid dividends today.

Both drivers will now share a three-day test at Monza (2nd - 4th September) in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix - a race that presented Jaguar Racing with a podium finish last year alongside the two Ferraris.

Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance
A weekend that began quite tough on Friday, got better into Saturday with Mark qualifying 3rd and has ended with three championship points. Not much more we could have asked for. The result is extra special because we scored the points on merit today and not at the misfortune of others. Apart from Rubens Barrichello in the Ferrari who was behind Mark at the time of his retirement, none of the big three teams suffered from problems today and for Mark to have held his own is reflective of how well the Jaguar R4 performed around this track. Letís not also forget that Mark was in 3rd place for quite some time during the race and his race pace was good. At this stage of our development, we donít see ourselves competing with the big three and today has demonstrated the improvements we have made relative to last year. The Michelin input has been nothing short of sensational over the past few weeks and coupled with the reliability of the package, we now go to Monza with a straight fight on our hands with BAR-Honda and Toyota. Justinís retirement today was very unfortunate given how well he was running in 12th place when he stopped with a suspected engine failure. His laps were competitive and given how little experience he has with us, the fact that he again has not completed a race distance with us is very disappointing. He is climbing his learning curve very well and our three-day test at Monza next month should prepare him well for what will surely be a telling weekend for us in championship status terms. For now, we will go back to Milton Keynes extremely happy about our all-around performance this weekend and focus hard on the three tough races ahead of us.

Mark Webber
Position: 6th Best time: 1:23.156
Chassis: R4-03 T-Car: R4-04

I really enjoyed that race but it was hard! Hard on the car, hard on the tyres and hard on the driver but what a reward at the end of it. The first few laps were particularly difficult with expected graining on the front tyres. Rubens then tried passing me at the top chicane but he went straight on instead which was nice! I then tried keeping the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen at bay and after that it was just a case of keeping the pace and maximising upon our three-stop strategy. I pushed extremely hard and just kept the qualifying laps rolling in one after another until the team came on the radio towards the end and told me to back off. The team has done a super job today and all thanks to everyone back at Milton Keynes too. The Jaguar R4 performed faultlessly today and Michelinís contribution towards that is significant. We have been working very hard behind the scenes to understand better some of the issues we have suffered at the last couple of races and today it paid off. We share equal billing now with BAR-Honda in 5th place and with only three races left, there is everything to play for. It will be far from easy but todayís result has helped considerably. I am delighted with the outcome.


Justin Wilson
Position: DNF Best time: 1:24.936
Chassis: R4-05
Another disappointing end to what began as a good race. I started from the dirty side of the track and didnít have a very easy start as everyone charged into the tight first hairpin. The rhythm and pace of the Jaguar was good and the balance was getting the best out of the Michelin tyres. My first two pit stops went according to plan but on lap 44, I lost power and had no choice but to retire. A big shame but the three-day Monza test will prepare me better for the next race a race that I hope to finish this time and help the team in their points with BAR-Honda and Toyota.

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