Jaguar Racing’s weekend of promise ended in bitter disappointment today as both Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia were forced to retire from the 78-lap Monaco Grand Prix. Mark and Antonio started from 9th and 13th positions respectively on the grid after a weekend that, up until now, had proved very positive and encouraging for the team. Both drivers began the race well and given their respective strategies, they were very much in the race, albeit until lap 11 when Antonio stopped near the Chicane having lost all power with an undiagnosed electrical problem. Meanwhile, Mark suffered a loss of engine air and made a premature pit stop on lap 14 to replenish the supply. The leak, however, continued and the team decided to retire Mark from the race on lap 17 to avoid an on-track engine failure.
Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance
“A thoroughly disappointing end to what should have been a points-winning race for us. The drivers have been very happy with the balance and pace of the car all weekend and to have retired both cars in this manner is unjust given the competitiveness of the car around this circuit. We have not yet had Antonio’s car returned to us and until we do, it is impossible to say what really happened. In Mark’s case, however, it became quite clear early on in the race that he was suffering from an engine air leak. We called him in on lap 14, topped up the supply, changed the rear tyres and expected he problem to have been cured. Not sooner had he left the pitlane though, it became clear that the problem was terminal and we had no choice but to call him back and retire. A great shame.”
Mark Webber Position: DNF Chassis: R4-04
“The team and I are obviously frustrated that our race weekend ended on lap 17. Our reliability record had been outstanding and we were certainly aiming to add some more points to our score. The engine air leak was something that could not be fixed and retirement was our only option. Despite not making it to the finish line, we have managed to build up a large data bank on the car thanks to the number of laps we have completed in the run up to the race and of course we will be looking into the engine issue on our return to the factory. The team has done a good job all weekend and we will go away with the aim of working out these issues in time for Canada and also positive that the car’s pace is there and we can work on reliability”.
Antonio Pizzonia Position: DNF Chassis: R4-03 T-Car: R4-02
“I am naturally disappointed to have retired from a race that should have been very different for us considering the pace and balance of the car. Although I had never raced a Formula One car around Monaco before, I have enjoyed driving the car this weekend and given how competitive we have been, it’s a great shame not to have capitalised. The guys back at HQ will investigate the issue, I’m sure, and all I can do is look forward and start preparing for Canada in two weeks. Montreal is yet another new track to me and getting to the finishing line is what we must aim for. The car is competitive and we must take full advantage of the pace we have.”Published 2 June 2003