Jaguar caught out by change in conditions

A change in track temperature brought a disappointing change in form for Mark Webber in the final qualifying session for the US Grand Prix. After impressing with the third fastest time yesterday (Friday), the Australian was plagued with understeer on his qualifying lap, and could manage no better than 14th on the grid

Jaguar caught out by change in conditions

The team opted not to make any changes to its car set-up after the morning practice sessions, but failed to anticipate how much the track temperature would change before qualifying. With team-mate Justin Wilson lining up 16th on the grid after suffering a similar problem, Jaguar faces losing ground to Honda and Toyota in the battle for fifth position in the world championship.

"You win some, you lose some and today wasn't our day," philosophised Webber. "We lost a bit of balance and grip going into the qualifying session and it became apparent as I came out of turn ten on my out lap. As I came out, the car understeered considerably and I began worrying about what was in store for me today.

"The brakes going into turn one were fine but the understeer kicked in again and it stayed with me for the whole lap. It was certainly a difficult qualifying session for us and not one that we expected given our pace up until now."

Dr Mark Gillan, Jaguar's head of vehicle performance, said: "We all felt pretty positive in the build-up to the qualifying hour but we were caught out by the lack of grip. We didn't make any significant changes to the car compared to the morning sessions and one can only assume at this stage that the track temperature went against us.

"Given that both Honda and Toyota powered teams are ahead of us, we have a very steep mountain to climb ahead of us tomorrow and we will simply have to knuckle down and do the best job we can."

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