Irvine 'Shocked' by Lack of Pace

Briton Eddie Irvine said he was surprised at the lack of performance of his Cosworth-powered Jaguar in today's qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Irvine 'Shocked' by Lack of Pace

Briton Eddie Irvine said he was surprised at the lack of performance of his Cosworth-powered Jaguar in today's qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

The Irishman, still upbeat after finishing in third place at the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago, had shone during practice both on Friday and today, posting the second and third quickest times respectively with the improved R3.

But qualifying was very different for Jaguar and Irvine, who struggled with his car to post a disappointing 13th fastest time, surprisingly some seven tenths slower than the time set during practice.

"What a shock! I realised we had problems at the first corner of my first timed lap," admitted Irvine. "As I braked, I lost grip, ran wide and decided to abort the lap. The car was sliding around all over the place and was quite a handful to drive.

"It was twitchy, unforgiving and simply put, a very different car to the one I drove this morning. I started even further back last year and through a combination of reliability and clever race strategy, we finished in the points."

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa also endured a torrid qualifying, struggling with the lack of grip and finishing down in 17th position.

"Eddie's words pretty much sum up my problem too," he said. "It was like driving on an ice rink out there and given how good the grip levels were this morning, I cannot believe we have gone backwards in qualifying. The car was sliding around under braking, through the corners and to be completely honest, it doesn't make any sense to me.

"There is nothing more to add than this. We now have a tough race ahead of us and we'll do our utmost to take something away from what has been a very strange weekend so far."

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