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Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles

 

September 26 2004

Chinese Grand Prix – Race

Weather: Dry Track Temp: 40 degrees Air temp: 29 degrees

The inaugural Chinese Grand Prix took place today at the Shanghai International Circuit with Jaguar Racing drivers Mark Webber (28) and Christian Klien (21) starting from 11th and 15th on the grid respectively. Both drivers made good clean starts with Mark overtaking the BMW-Williams of Juan-Pablo Montoya by the first corner. Mark’s race continued without incident to the end of the fifty-six laps when he brought the car home in 10th place after a closely fought battle to keep the Renault of Jacques Villeneuve behind him as well as the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. Christian was not so fortunate as he made contact with Michael Schumacher on corner fourteen, forcing him to retire when he pitted with a damaged right rear suspension. The team has enjoyed a strong weekend here and has fought a tough race and although no points were scored the R5 has again showed its performance and pace ability on track.

Mark Webber
Position: 10th Chassis: R5- 05
“I knew that the race was going to be tough and it was. The circuit is very demanding technically for both the driver and the car and we were giving it our all out there. The car felt well balanced and the team had done an excellent job ahead of the race. I made a good start and took Juan-Pablo Montoya by the first corner. From that point on until the end of the race I did everything I could to make up places. Everyone was good and reliable today and points were always going to be difficult. I was struggling for traction at times but given the pace of the Renault and the Ferrari behind me I was pleased to finish in tenth. The R5 is a really good package at the moment and I would love to be scoring some points in it. We have two races to go so I will be doing everything I can to fight for some top eight finishes.

Christian Klien
Position: Retired Chassis: R5b-06
“I made a good clean start off the grid and was pleased to make it round the first corner without incident. The R5 was feeling well balanced and competitive and I was enjoying the race. When I was on lap twelve on the long straight I could see the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher a long way behind me. As I neared corner four I looked again for Michael and I could not see him and consequently then turned in only to make contact with his car. I carried on and came in to pit as normal but it was clear that my race was over. The rear suspension had been damaged in the incident and it was impossible to continue. I am very disappointed with the outcome of my race today as the car was very well prepared for this weekend and we had completed some very successful testing. The track is very challenging to drive and I would have liked to finish this first ever Chinese Grand Prix, but it was not to be. I now travel directly to Australia to continue with my training ahead of Japan”.

Dr Mark Gillan Head of Vehicle Performance
“Our reliability this weekend has been very pleasing and as a result we have made a great deal of progress on our development. We have focused on our aero package and also on our mechanical and tyre preparation. This clearly paid off in the race when Mark made a good start and raced a very tough 56-laps to finish tenth. His pit stops were quick and although we did not manage to score points we outpaced our nearest competitor by some distance. Christian also made a good start and was racing well until he unfortunately made contact with the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher, which ended his race. His right rear suspension was damaged and he could not continue. I am impressed with the way the team has prepared for this weekend and their continued motivation and commitment is inspirational. We now return home to further analyse our data from this weekend with the goal of scoring points in the remaining races of the season”.


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