Pedro ruined my qualifying, says Irvine

Eddie Irvine blamed fellow Jaguar Racing driver Pedro de la Rosa after being outqualified by his new team mate for the first time at the Canadian Grand Prix

Pedro ruined my qualifying, says Irvine

The Ulsterman finished a disappointing 15th - one place behind de la Rosa - after seeing his best and final flying lap spoiled by the Spaniard to complete a disappointing session for the team after the highs of Monaco.

"Not a great qualifying session in any shape of form," said Irvine, who scored Jaguar's maiden podium in Monte Carlo, and was hoping for a repeat in Montreal after finishing third in early practice on Friday.

"My first two runs were OK, but the third was compromised because the anti-stall system cut in for some reason. My fourth run was good and I was up on my best time until I came across Pedro at the final chicane.

"We were both pushing hard, but Pedro's approach into the final chicane was too fast and he had to lift in an effort to avoid hitting the wall on the exit. Given that I was right behind him, I too had little choice but to lift.

"The Michelin tyres have a lot of work to do here against the Bridgestones and I hope they perform better in race trim. Fifteenth position on the grid is not good by our standards but we knew this circuit was going to test us.

"It would be unfair at this stage to write-off the new aerodynamic package, particularly as it has been working so well in testing. We need to examine the reasons for our lack of pace and look at ways of rectifying this before Magny-Cours."

Despite these problems, the Ulsterman still remains hopeful that there might be some points coming the team's way in Sunday's race.

"We have always done a better job in race trim anyway," said Irvine. "Assuming we can stay out of harm's way tomorrow there is a slim chance of salvaging something from this race."

De la Rosa, who replaced Luciano Burti at Jaguar in Spain four races ago, apologised for wrecking Irvine's qualifying lap.

"I'm sorry about spoiling Eddie's last run, but I had little choice but to lift or hit the wall. I simply came into the last chicane too fast and unfortunately spoilt it for myself and Eddie."

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