Jag bosses praise Irvine for bullish drive

Jaguar Racing bosses Niki Lauda and Bobby Rahal have lavished praise on their controversial lead driver Eddie Irvine - even though he failed to finish the French Grand Prix

Jag bosses praise Irvine for bullish drive

The straight-talking Jaguar overlords saw Irvine put in a gusty performance to reach sixth after outfoxing and outracing a series of drivers to put the 'big cat' team in with a chance of scoring points

But the Ulsterman's hopes went up in smoke when, 55 laps into the race, his Jaguar's engine blew due to pneumatic valve problems.

"It was great fun racing like that," said Irvine. "It was very satisfying to come through the field and scrap for points the way we did. Big shame about the way it ended though!

"I shoulder some of the blame for not doing a better job in qualifying - but I couldn't have driven harder in the race. And to end up fighting for points when we started 12th shows we are capable of better things."

Despite not finishing, Irvine did enough to impress his bosses, who were happy enough to see the potential of the Jaguar R2 which has improved dramatically since aerodynamic revisions were introduced for the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

"Eddie drove a perfect race," said Lauda, who is chairman of the Premier Performance Division, which includes Jaguar Racing, Pi technology and Cosworth. "He passed many cars and drove very aggressively but unfortunately the engine blew up.

"It would have been a positive step forward for Jaguar, but it is not a positive thing when you don't finish a race. From the speed point of view it was. He would have driven into the points and this is what we are here for."

Jaguar Racing CEO Rahal added: "Eddie drove a magnificent race and I think he has overtaken more people this year than anybody else. We learned the same lesson as we did at the last race - we need to qualify better.

"The car needs more work but the potential is there. We lost a point today - maybe even two."

Irvine's team mate Pedro de la Rosa was also plagued by mechanical gremlins and came to halt on the formation lap, but was able to get the car re-started after receiving instructions from the team over the radio and went to finish a distant 14th.

"Pedro had a problem with his electric throttle on the warm-up lap so therefore the car stopped," said Rahal. They had to reset it. He got it going again but did lose a lap."

shares
comments
Pollock: We Need to Focus to Solve Problems

Previous article

Pollock: We Need to Focus to Solve Problems

Next article

Improvements Came too Late, Says Gascoyne

Improvements Came too Late, Says Gascoyne
Load comments
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021