Gary Anderson Q&A

It's been something of a strange season so far for Jordan, with the superb win for Giancarlo Fisichella in Brazil followed by a double retirement from lowly positions for the Italian and rookie team-mate Ralph Firman at Imola. The Interlagos win was a little opportunistic, and it remains to be seen how competitive the car can be in normal circumstances as the season unfolds. The man with the job of making it work on race weekends is engineering boss Gary Anderson, who returned to the team last year after three seasons at Stewart, Jaguar and in Champ Cars. Adam Cooper caught up with him

Gary Anderson Q&A



"We were pretty happy with second, but from the end of the race we felt we won it. It was a matter of dealing with the excitement of finishing second, and having a look at why we didn't win."



"We knew that. I'd looked at the monitor and seen it, and the next thing is it's gone back to the end of lap 54. We thought that's OK, it's two laps taken off in case there's a restart or whatever. By the time I got down to the rostrum they said, 'No, the results are to the end of lap 53.' I didn't understand it. I thought he must not have got across the line that lap, and perhaps the red flag and the button can't work simultaneously, or something. Then I thought about it a bit more, and it seemed he was too close to the start/finish line for him not to cross it. We looked at the TV on the Monday afternoon when we got back, because all we had was the video of the race."



"We did, luckily, for the first time in Brazil. But unfortunately the bloke who was supposed to carry it as hand luggage put it in the freight! But we got the video of the race, and timed when he crossed the finish line to when the red flag came out where the accident was, and that sort of stuff. If you take the red flag waved by hand, it was 12 seconds. That seemed like a long time, and you can get the flag out quicker than that, and Giancarlo's probably got across there quicker than that. He could cross there in five or six seconds comfortably. Now we know Giancarlo crossed the line 12 seconds before the red flag was put out, but four seconds before the red light was put on. We asked him when he saw it, and he said down into Turn 4 or 5, that sort of area."



"I think we spoke the same language. Somebody had screwed up somewhere, but all we did was really bring it to their attention, that we thought we'd won the race. They had a look and came back to us and said, 'Yes.'"



Yes, I wasn't there for Damon's, but I contributed to it somewhere along the line. I've been around a long time, so I enjoy success, obviously. You get hardened to the fact that you're doing a job that you enjoy as well."



"It's a big morale boost. Going and winning with Michael Schumacher second, Kimi Raikkonen third, Ralf Schumacher fourth, that's winning! We've still got to do that one. But on the way to getting there you need to take what you can get and enjoy it when you do it. Imola was a bit of a downer, but we went for a strategy that we thought was reasonably correct. We learned a lot in the race because of the problems we had. I'd rather have failures and not finish than finish 12th. That's stupid, really."



"No, completely different. On the way there we had a small hydraulic leak in the diff in Giancarlo's car. We stabilised it, so he was going to be OK. In the pit stop we had a bit of an incident where the guy lifting the lollipop moved and Giancarlo took off. The anti-stall didn't work, so we learned something from that. Ralph had an engine failure which was putting oil into the clutch, and that's why the gear-changing went kind of funny. He stopped with lack of drive, but it was a very strange one. We're building, so don't be negative, be positive. We'd have rather have problems in Imola than in Barcelona, because hopefully there we'll be in the points, and you don't need it then. You have to learn every day and try to eliminate the problems."



"It's not really come into play yet, because the first races were flyaways, all the stuff's gone, and you just get through them as best you can. After that you get into the routine of Europe, and the routine of Europe means there's a little bit more time to go testing. It does get a little frustrating when you're reading about teams off testing every week, and you're sitting at home. But we've got to try to do the job with what we have."



"They are a step ahead. They've obviously built themselves a good little tool there. They keep complaining about the engine, but I don't think it's that bad. You couldn't do that well with that bad an engine. They're using the testing quite efficiently, which is what we want to do. You have to get as much data as you can from the cars, and from the tyres and the fuel loads. The more cars you have running, the more laps you can do and the more data you get from that. The weekend is quite stop-go now. From Friday morning until Friday night is hell, because you not only have to prepare two cars, you have to prepare two rear ends for the Saturday - we change the engine and gearbox as one, midday Saturday. Then after qualifying until the race there's a bit of a dead bit in the middle there, but that's the way it is."



"I don't think we've realised the true potential of the car. I think that is a little bit a lack of testing, and we need to sort out a few reliability issues that lost us time. But it's going to be stronger for the second half of the season, or even last two thirds, because we've dug a bit deep in research and getting a bit of development done. There's more potential in it that we haven't quite latched onto yet, but obviously we're trying every weekend. Before Brazil was the first time we had the seven-post rig working, because it was the first time we had a [fourth] chassis back at the factory. All those things help us to look at more avenues."



"I would hate to think that we couldn't be competitive with BAR and Sauber. Renault might be a little bit dodgy. There are benefits in the tyres. Some circuits might suit Bridgestone, and others Michelin. I think when we get to a Bridgestone circuit we can be competitive with Renault, and when we're at a Michelin circuit, then we'll drop away from them. Our real challenge I suppose that we want to succeed at is being ahead of BAR and Sauber, and if we do that, then we'll catch the others as well. There are reasons for people being competitive, ie Ferrari have got Michael, a good car and Bridgestones. Williams have maybe not got such a good car at the moment. It's combinations that come together at a given track."

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