Jaguar Racing today paid the price for yesterday’s unexpected and somewhat disappointing qualifying performance. Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa started the U.S. Grand Prix in 13th and 17th positions respectively and with that mind, it was decided that both drivers should adopt a one-stop strategy for the 73-lap race, thereby making the Jaguars relatively heavy for the first half of the race. Subsequently, both drivers lost two positions by the end of lap three and after ten laps, Eddie came under pressure from the BAR-Honda of Oliver Panis in 11th place. With many runners coming in for the first of a scheduled two-stop strategy, Eddie and Pedro had climbed up to 14th and 16th positions by lap 28, but that’s where Pedro’s race sadly ended with what appears to have been a transmission problem. Eddie, however, drove a determined race and as expected, the race pace of the Jaguar R3 really began to manifest itself. Eddie consistency posted personal best lap times and on lap 44, Eddie came into the pits for his one and only pit stop. By lap 58, Eddie had climbed up to 10th place and began chasing for the ninth place occupied by the Sauber of Nick Heidfeld. A two second gap was reduced to two-tenths and at the end of the long start/finish straight, Eddie made a move on Heidfeld, albeit unsuccessfully. In the end, Eddie had to settle for a 10th place finish to what should have been the third consecutive points scoring weekend for Jaguar Racing.
Niki Lauda – CEO and Team Principal "After qualifying yesterday, we knew we had a tough job on our hands today. Because of this, we had no choice but to adopt a one-stop strategy, push hard and hope for a few retirements ahead of us. As it was, the attrition rate was relatively low and despite the continued strong race pace of the Jaguar R3, we found it very hard to challenge for a points finish. It is unclear at this stage as to what really caused Pedro’s retirement but it looks like a transmission failure of some kind. Eddie drove a very strong race indeed and his lap times were very impressive today. Quite simply, the moral of the story is qualifying well. Had we of qualified where we should have done, there is little doubt about the fact that we would have walked away from the Brickyard with more points. With one more race left and both Honda teams closely behind us in the championship, the need to score points in Japan cannot be overstated enough."
Eddie Irvine Position: 10th Best time: 1:14.190 Chassis: R3-05 T-Car: R3-03
"All the damage was done on Saturday. It made us compromise strategy, the start to the race and pretty much everything. We really paid the penalty today for not qualifying where we were capable of and had we of done so, I’m sure we’d have beaten the Renaults today. The pace of the Jaguar was very good and I suffered no issues over the 73-laps apart from Ralf Schumacher! For someone who is a lap down on the field, I cannot understand his actions today. He knew that Heidfeld and I were dicing for position over the last fifteen laps or so and yet for some bizarre reason, there’s Ralf trying to get between us. Not the most clever race craft but that’s Ralf. Suzuka is next on the calendar and after Monaco, it’s my favourite circuit. I know the place very well and given that we missed out on points this weekend, we are determined to make up for that in Japan."
Pedro de la Rosa Position: DNF Best time: 1:15.498 Chassis: R3-06
"A disappointing weekend for me. The car felt very good up until lap 28 when it became stuck in 5th gear. I then began seeing smoke coming out of the rear and there was no choice but to call it a day. Big shame given how well balanced the Jaguar felt today. The pace was there and I would really have liked to have finished the race. Japan beckons and I want nothing more than to fight for a point or two."
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