|Wednesday, 21-Feb-2024 05:58:32 CET
Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles
May 27 2004
EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX – PREVIEW
After the excitement and the thrills of the Monaco Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing travelled directly to Germany to prepare for the Formula One European race to be held at the historic Nurburgring circuit. As one of the older racing circuits on the FIA Formula One calendar, the race is a favourite for most of the drivers. Both Mark Webber (27) and Christian Klien (21) are looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the R5 to compete in the 7th round of the championship. With the back to back races the cars have not returned to the factory and no track testing has been carried out. The team have instead been working on data taken from the Monaco track, and analysing it to understand further the various areas where the car did not perform as expected. The team are looking forward to competing at the track where all three drivers have seen success, Mark with a sixth place last year and both Chris and Bjorn with several wins in past formulas.
Mark Webber (27)
“The Nurburgring track is one of the more interesting tracks on the F1 calendar. It has undergone some changes recently and this may make overtaking at corner one more likely. I scored some points here last year so I have a good feeling about it, and hope that we can have a repeat performance. I also had a podium here in 2001 with F3000, so my experience should stand me in good stead. The weather, because of where the track is located amongst the forest, plays an important part in our preparation and strategy, which is a good thing to help make the race more exciting for the fans as well as us. It generally requires high down-force and it can be quite demanding on both the aerodynamics and engine of the car. The most important thing is to be prepared for the weekend and that is what we are busy doing at the moment. I have been into the factory this week to speak with the team and help them work through the data from Monaco. We started our points campaign at the Bahrain track and it would be good to continue it at the Nurburgring”.
Christian Klien (21)
”I have great memories of this track and of course this makes it one of my favourites. I have raced here and won in Formula BMW, Formula Renault and Formula 3, so this is going to make racing here much more fun. Having experience at a track makes my job easier - my last race weekend in Monaco was much tougher as you spend time familiarising yourself with the layout and set-up of the car. The back to back races are quite demanding on the team, as there is no break and no testing period. The turnaround time is very short so the guys back in the factory are working flat out replacing parts and preparing for the race weekend in half the time than normal. I know that my mechanics are looking forward to getting to Nurburgring, as we want to get out on track and score some points. The car is well set up and I will be looking to qualify higher so that I am in the right place to fight for points”.
Björn Wirdheim (24)
“Some of my earliest memories from racing come from the time I spent watching my father race at the Nurburgring. I remember some great times from then and I am also in the fortunate position to say that my first Formula 3000 victory was there. It’s an amazing track that is good fun, although I prefered the older version of the track, before they made some changes a couple of years ago. I have also been on the old circuit, the Nordschleife, which is an incredible experience no matter how many times you drive it. Since Monday I have returned to the factory to speak with team and my engineers. It helps to have a proper debrief back in the factory before you go the next race. Since we do not have so much time between now and the next race I have been doing lots of exercise, as there is no testing to be done until the following week when we will be at Silverstone (UK).
“This week we head off to the Nurburgring track in the forests of Germany. The Nurburgring is an undulating circuit that is dominated by slow corners that requires medium to high down-force from the R5. We were sixth here last year with Mark and if we could do the same this year we would be pleased. The R5 suits this track and our primary goal is to ensure that both of our cars finish the race. I know, having spoken to all three drivers this week, they all enjoy racing here and they have had some good successes between them in many different formulas. Although we have been unable to test this week we have been working very closely with Cosworth Racing, Pi Research and Michelin in preparation for the race this weekend. There will be a few modifications to the car this weekend and we then go straight on to Silverstone in the UK to test for four days. In the meantime, we will be looking to secure some championship points from a car that is more than capable of delivering them”.
David Pitchforth - Managing Director
“The teams both here at Jaguar Racing in Milton Keynes (UK) and at Cosworth Racing in Northampton (UK) have been working relentlessly over the past few days since Monaco to ensure that we are fully prepared for the race this weekend. Since we have returned here we have been working on the various areas where we feel that we under performed in Monaco. Mark and Bjorn have both visited the factory to assist in analysing and understanding the data and we have been in discussion with Christian over the phone. We are a very close team and we are pulling together to deliver on track. We know the R5 has the potential to deliver points, we now need to focus on channelling our energy into our reliability and ensure that when cars finish the race they are finishing in the points. We have an incredibly busy time ahead of us as we move into June and July with the back to back races, so we will be focussing on delivering and having both of our drivers scoring points”.
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