Leaping cat comes out fighting

Gary Anderson, Jaguar Racing's technical director, claims the team has solved the handling and reliability problems that harmed it at the Australian Grand Prix

Leaping cat comes out fighting

The temperatures at the Brazilian Grand Prix are likely to approach 30 degrees C, similar to those that harmed many teams at the Australian event.

Jaguar's cars were among the worst affected at Melbourne, but technical director Gary Anderson claims the problems that beset the team have been eradicated.

"We feel we've identified the main problem," claimed Anderson. "What happened in Melbourne was something new that stepped in on us - we shot ourselves in the foot really," he admitted.

Luciano Burti, the team's Brazilian test driver, spent time at Silverstone driving a Jaguar identical to those that had already been crated up and sent to Brazil. The test team worked on reliability and, though some new components are available, Anderson says the team will err on the side of caution and not use them.

"There will be nothing dramatically new on the car itself in Brazil," he said. "We will take a new front wing to test, although we don't like to take new things to race meetings, because there might not be enough time to make them work."
Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine was buoyed by his seventh place grid spot at the Albert Park track two weekends ago, but is wary of the Interlagos circuit.

The Ulsterman has finished no higher than fifth, a feat he achieved last year for Ferrari. As a result, he expects gaining a good finish will be tough.

"The Sao Paulo circuit is one of the old fashioned tracks in that there is nothing artificial about it," said Irvine. "That certainly goes for the track surface, which seems identical to what you can find outside the circuit gates! That and the fact the track goes the 'wrong way' round, with most of the corners running anti-clockwise, means it can be physically tiring."

Irvine sounded a note of caution as far as the race is concerned, suggesting that despite the progress made in testing, there is still a long way to go.

"This year, we have to be realistic about our chances. My qualifying performance in Australia showed the Jaguar R1 has a good turn of speed, but still needs to improve in terms of reliability. The Interlagos circuit doles out a serious mechanical beating and will provide us with a stern test of how much progress we have made."

Anderson, on the other hand, remained more upbeat: "There are lot of competitive cars out there, so it's not a cake walk this year by any means. It will be interesting to see what happens, as Interlagos is more of a normal racing track compared with Melbourne. I think we should be okay."

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