Formula 1 team battles hot up

Eddie Irvine's podium finish in the Italian Grand Prix has leapfrogged Jaguar up to sixth place in the constructors championship, a point clear of Jordan and two ahead of British American Racing with two races remaining

Formula 1 team battles hot up

"I didn't actually know I was third for quite a while," Irvine said. "The last time I looked I was fourth. Which is nice. Third is good for me and the team. To get up on the podium is special and when I realised I was third it was big pressure because all of a sudden I wasn't just doing a job for the team, I was wanting to get up there myself.

"On the slowing down lap the tifosi were going bananas shouting and screaming for me. The reason I spend so much time in Italy is because Italians know how to have fun and I like to join in!"

The 2002 season has not been fun for Jaguar Racing, however, and Irvine's drive at Monza brought some much-needed relief to Niki Lauda, Guenther Steiner and the crew. As Irvine said: "We've changed the front suspension, rear suspension, front uprights, rear uprights, floor, front wing, rear wing, turning vanes, everything. The only thing that's the same is the bit I sit in."

Irvine admitted that the team had some good fortune with the demise of the Williams-BMWs but thinks that points are a realistic target at Indianapolis. And Lauda added: "There is nothing to prevent us being as competitive at the next two races."

The low-downforce Monza suited the Jaguar, however, and played to the strengths of Cosworth's engine. Whether the team can maintain form at Indianapolis and Suzuka, with more downforce required, remains to be seen.

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