Irvine plays down stunning time

Jaguar's Eddie Irvine pronounced himself "reasonably satisfied" with his stunning pace in today(Friday)'s free practice sessions for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, which saw him set the second fastest time to McLaren's David Coulthard

Irvine plays down stunning time

Irvine blamed an electrical failure for causing him to go off and bog down in the gravel on his first flying lap in the opening session at the 180-degree Turn Eight. He set his stunningly fast time in the second hour-long session, just 0.198secs slower than Coulthard's best, despite sitting out most of the first hour.

"Conditions are very different to those we experienced at the test session here and the car doesn't feel as good as it did then," he said. "The circuit was very slippery in the morning session and very windy too, and I lost the majority of that session anyway with an electrical problem that shut the car down.

"I'm sure the team will fine tune the car in an effort to extract more downforce for qualifying, but I'm reasonably satisfied with how we have started the weekend. There's work to be done on the balance and set-up, but we have a clear baseline on which to build on and improve," he added.

Jaguar are expected to benefit from Michelin tyres at Magny-Cours, and Irvine almost nicked the final point from McLaren's Mika Hakkinen at the European GP at the Nurburgring last weekend thanks to running a one-stop strategy.

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