Bobby Rahal Q&A

Bobby Rahal takes over as CEO of Jaguar Racing on December 1, but as a taster for what's to come he is attending the last three GPs of the year. At Indianapolis, where he introduced himself to the team crew with a speech in the garage, his arrival was marked with a good performance on race day. Starting on dry tyres Johnny Herbert worked his way into the points before damaging his wing when he misjudged his pit stop, while Eddie Irvine moved up to seventh from 17th on the grid. Everyone in the team is already focussing on next year, when Rahal will be at the helm. One of the most respected men in American motor sport, Rahal is used to success on and off the track, and it will be fascinating to see how he adapts to his new role - and how the team adapts to him. Adam Cooper spoke to the triple CART champion

Bobby Rahal Q&A



"I would have liked to have been on the pitwall to see the start - watching it on TV [from the garage] is no different from being at home! I was very pleased with the engine and very pleased with the job the crew did. The cars made it to the end, and made it well, and the systems were reliable. I think the changeable weather flattered us a little bit. For Johnny I think the strategy was the right one - back where he was on the grid, what have you got to lose? It was working out beautifully, and he was doing a good job staying on the track when it was really wet. It was unfortunate that he had the problem. Eddie did as good as job as he could have. However, I don't believe we're as competitive as the results showed necessarily, but we have to make sure everything's in place for next year. This year is nearly over - it's just a matter of doing the best we can from here on out and making sure that the right things are done for next year."



"That was kind of fun, wasn't it! He was very pleased with the car. They changed the aero set-up a little bit, and I think he was pretty comfortable with it. Not only was it fast in the infield, but it was good on the straight. It was nice to see."



"It's certainly going to be a big challenge, but I know the commitment from Jaguar is of the highest order. It's a matter of finding out what the problem is and getting the right people to sort it out."



"My job is to organise, or create an organisation. The basic tenets for that are the same, no matter what it is. The actual product is maybe a little bit different, but that's why you have the engineers and all those people. They are the ones that are specifically knowledgeable about a certain aspect. My view is from 35,000 feet at this stage. I have to look at the big picture, and how well the organisation is put together."



"I think the potential is tremendous. As I say, the commitment from Jaguar is 100 per cent, so at least that's there. I don't think that I would have undertaken this had I not thought that they truly were committed to be the best. It's a new team in a lot of respects, and it's just a matter of keeping the good things, and dropping the bad things."



"I've been running my own businesses for years, and having been involved in my own racing team I think that over the years I've come to be aware of what's necessary. You have to have discipline in an organisation just to be competitive, let alone win. I think we can probably bring that to the equation."



"Obviously it is. My wife and I both lived in England many, many years ago, and she's excited about it, and I enjoy the European lifestyle. I don't think it's going to be as big a move as some might think."



"For me personally it's good to go to these races a year ahead of time. I hope we have a little more competitive weekend in Japan; obviously Eddie knows the circuit well, which is probably an advantage of sorts, but there's only so much you can do. Hopefully we can find some things in the meantime that we can try, and therefore have a little better race."

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