Jaguar solves seat problem

Jaguar is optimistic it has got to the bottom of the cockpit problem that robbed it of points in the Japanese Grand Prix after Mark Webber was forced out of the race with an overheating seat

Jaguar solves seat problem

Heading to this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix the team is hoping that such minor issues do not allow it to fail in keeping hold of its seventh place in the constructors' championship. It is currently just one point ahead of rivals Toyota.

Mark Gillan, head of vehicle performance at Jaguar, has confirmed that the blame for Webber's dramas in Japan was caused by an internal cockpit fixing coming loose, which allowed hot air from the engine to flow into the cockpit.

"In Japan it was evident that the pace of the car was impressive and that made the failure which led to Mark's retirement all the more disappointing," he said. "After the race it became apparent that an internal cockpit chassis fixing had come loose, which led to hot air from the engine entering the cockpit and heating Mark's seat to a point which became unbearable for him to continue.

"We have re-designed this feature to prevent a repeat of this failure and fortunately Mark is fine for the Brazilian race weekend."

Jaguar has high hopes that it can repeat its promising form from last year's Interlagos event, where Mark Webber challenged for a podium finish before a spectacular crash near the end of the race. A repeat performance is even more important this time out because of the uncertainty over the team's future as it aims to find a buyer.

Jaguar managing director David Pitchforth said: "As we go to Brazil, the final Grand Prix of the 2004 season, and the last race for the team as Jaguar Racing, team morale is still high - everyone has the pride and motivation to complete the season with style in order that we finish well and impress our future owner.

"We are working hard to continue to develop next year's car and the team's facilities as we go through the sales process. The recent test at Jerez was very encouraging, as we are making good progress with components and developments for next year. We have a fantastic group of people working inside Jaguar Racing and their response to the announcement that the team is to be sold by Ford Motor Company has been nothing less than outstanding.

"This is a good team, one that was on the verge of doing something great in F1, and I have no doubt that our staff are our strongest asset. We are hopeful for a good result this weekend, the car did relatively well in Brazil last year and the R5 has shown what is capable of, so it would be just reward for the team's hard work to see some well deserved points."

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