Jaguar still on course, says Stewart

The troubled Jaguar team is on track to be battling for the World Championship next year, according to the man who founded the Stewart Grand Team which was taken over by the 'Leaping Cat' last year

Jaguar still on course, says Stewart

Stewart arrived in Formula 1 in 1997 at the start of a projected five-year 2001 plan, which included race wins for this season and challenging for the world title in 2001.

"We said we would not be in contention to win races until this year and not in contention for the championship until next year and I still stand by that," he said.

The team, reborn this year as Jaguar Racing, won their first race last year - ahead of Stewart's schedule - but are, for the present, perpetually troubled by an oil feed problem which restricted Johnny Herbert to 18th in Friday's first practice in Brazil and Eddie Irvine to 21st and just four laps.

"If we get over this it and we get some test miles in to work the car out properly, we will be competitive," said Stewart.

"Until we get the test miles done to stretch the elastic of all the components of the car and engine, we won't be competitive.

"It's an oil circulation problem. We know we will get it fixed, it's just a question of finding the right fix.

"Eddie Jordan took nine years to get his first win, it took us just three.

"But everybody's expecting rather a lot from us and I think maybe even Jaguar was expecting too much.

"There is bound to be high expectation, but it takes time for all these things to gel. We have a team that is now 300 people - when we started in 1996 we had 34 people.

"In a strange way I would personally have preferred to have one more year of running as the Stewart Ford team before making the transition to Jaguar.

"We could all have got to know each other during that adjustment period. We would have gone in next year with a stronger working foundation."

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