Burti praised by Jaguar technical boss

Luciano Burti has been praised by Jaguar's technical director Gary Anderson for getting his car on the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix. The 25-year-old Brazilian was deputising at short notice, after Eddie Irvine was taken ill with appendicitis, and squeezed on the back row of the grid this afternoon

Burti praised by Jaguar technical boss

The Brazilian went on to claim that he regarded the weekend as his big chance to state his claim to the seat that may be vacated by Johnny Herbert at the end of the season.

"I think I have little chance at Jaguar because I know they are trying to find a driver with more experience," said Burti. "I have a great chance here to show I can be a good option for the team but it's going to be very very difficult for me."

The Brazilian, who finished ahead of Jenson Button in the 1999 British F3 series, experienced car failure in the morning practice session and he had just 18 laps practice before he was pitched into qualifying.

"For someone thrown in the deep end Luciano did a very good job considering we didn't give him the best opportunity with his gearbox problems," said Anderson. "He has never seen the circuit, he has had just 45 minutes to prepare himself and was using a set-up he was unfamiliar with and he was still within six-tenths of Johnny."

Burti's close friend Rubens Barrichello took him out at the start of practice and showed him the lines. Before the Jaguar broke down. The experience was clearly invaluable, but Burti was still on the steep part of the learning curve at the end of the session.

"I'm pleased with my performance considering my knowledge of the track," said Burti, "and it was also the first time I have driven the R1 in qualifying trim. I'm happy and looking forward to the race."

Meanwhile, suspension problems late in qualifying cost team-mate Johnny Herbert a tilt at the top 10. The Englishman had been sixth in the final practice session before qualifying.

"I'm really disappointed because I reckon we coud have got our nose in the top 10," he said. "But I never got the chance because of the suspension problems."

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