Team Review – Jaguar/Jackie Stewart

2000 CHAMPIONSHIP: 9th, 4pts (Eddie Irvine, 4pts, Johnny Herbert, 0pts)

Team Review – Jaguar/Jackie Stewart

4th (Irvine at Monaco) 6th (Irvine in Brazil and France)
Eddie's strong qualifying performances at the start and finish of the season, and Herbert passing Barrichello's Ferrari at Indianapolis.
Too many to mention, but they include losing both cars on the first lap at Monza, and Johnny's spectacular suspension failure in his last race in Malaysia.
A management shake-up will not solve all the problems overnight, but nevertheless lessons have been learned and the technical package is likely to be much stronger, and winter testing more productive. Michelin tyres could provide an advantage on occasion.

From the outside it may have appeared that Stewart GP's transformation into Jaguar Racing involved a lot of green paint and not much else, but the reality of the change of ownership and management was far more complex. Jaguar's first year proved to be tougher and more arduous than anyone expected, and on paper the only hard results were Eddie Irvine's fourth place at Monaco and sixth in Malaysia, as the team tumbled to a lowly ninth in the points standings. At the outfit's launch in January Jackie Stewart revealed that he would take a step back in 2000, and he no longer holds the role of team principal. But he remains involved both as a board member and a key player in the team's commercial strategy - there's still no one better when it comes to charming the sponsors. While Jackie's involvement will reduce further still next year, he will take great pleasure from watching the progress of new driver Luciano Burti, a graduate of the family's Formula 3 team. Adam Cooper spoke to JYS about this year and the season to come.


"I think it's been a disappointing year for everybody, and it would be wrong to say otherwise. It would have been very nice to match or even surpass what we did last year, but that would have been a big undertaking. And I don't think there's a company in existence that can change ownership without considerable disruption. Because not only are there new people, but there are new cultures, new systems, new procedures. And in F1 you're always talking a decimal point of this, of that and the next thing. Keep in mind that not only did I leave the company, but so also did Paul (Stewart). We were two people doing a job that basically Neil (Ressler) had to try and do by himself until the recent announcement regarding Bobby (Rahal) joining the team. So I don't think anybody should be terribly surprised by what went on."


"The future is I think considerably more positive. The parent company is totally committed to it. The investment they've already made is big and will be even bigger, because of the new facility. It's going to be good for the sport in general, and it gives the lead to the other major manufacturers to understand that if we've got this commitment, they also have to have it. I think the future will be very strong, and we have to put this year behind us, and see the positive side of it for the longer term. We're taking on some more people and we can afford things that we could never have been able to afford as Stewart. So I think that should be very encouraging for our own people. Jaguar is a great name, and that's only going to get better too."


"It affects everybody in the factory very negatively. It certainly affects our commercial aspects, having to justify that. But everybody forgets that we've only completed four years. I think if we had continued to go the way we were going, without any changes, it would have been tough to improve on fourth place in the World Championship from last year anyway. I don't think we can ignore the fact that we are still young. Now even more so, because of this purchase. I've no idea whether it's the accountancy and the financial structures, whether it be the methods of employment, new contracts, or all sorts of things. It just took a lot of handling."


"It's the first year for Eddie, and at the beginning of this season I don't think he was fully up to speed himself, fitness wise or anything else. He had a busy winter. I think he had to find his way into a new team, which is never easy. You just don't come in and switch on the light, particularly when he had come from an infrastructure that was so complete. Our infrastructure is still raw in comparison with most teams, and most of all in comparison to Ferrari."


"We have to invest in the future and in youth. Luciano is the best option. You could have said go for Jenson for example, and we could have done that. But Jenson has a Williams commitment and a contract which is very threatening to a big, multinational corporation, in that at any time Frank (Williams) could have lifted the phone and called in somebody who you were beginning to culture and get into sponsor partners. Then suddenly it's 'We only had him on loan anyway'. That would have been tough. Montoya was also under a commitment to Frank. Tell me who else there is? Frentzen was committed elsewhere, so was Trulli. Fisichella may have been able to be bought, but the clauses were ridiculous. I think that you've got to go in and try something new. It's a great opportunity for Luciano. Nobody has overly high expectations, which will give him time to find his feet. He's very solid, he's very fit, he's very committed and this is the biggest chance of his life. And let's see how he does."


"Bobby Rahal is I think an asset to the team. Neil needs somebody else, in the same way that I needed somebody else, and I had Paul. Bobby's coming into a business that clearly he's going to have to learn. You would have to say for both Neil and Bobby, and also Jaguar, that they are still learning what they could, should and can't do. And that learning curve will continue for a period of time until everybody's got their waters settled. That may take another year."


"Absolutely. I haven't had a lot of time to myself yet, because I'm still doing a lot of the commercial side with the company, and a lot of other things. The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) thing -because of the turbulence involved in that situation - has taken up quite a lot of time. And I'm still contracted to the Ford Motor Company for the same number of days that I've always had. I'm looking towards finding other ways of reducing my participation. I'll only go to maybe seven or a maximum eight races next year. Also the management team has to be seen to be the leaders of this. I'll help them whenever they want me, but there are certain reasons that I've got to be at that number of races. I sold all of the relationships originally. In the case of HSBC I wouldn't do anything that would hurt them, or not give them what I promised and committed to when I did the deal. And the same applies to Hewlett Packard and so on. These are things that I've still got to do. The Jaguar Racing board meetings are not very time consuming, but I've got to be up to speed as a board member on what's going on. So I've got to be in the factory enough to understand that fully. There's still a lot in my life... I've taken so many things on in the past that still need attention, and I'm looking very carefully at where my future is and how much I want to do. Helen's waited around a long time!"


"That's been the most profound thing that's ever happened in my life, and it's had a bigger affect on my life than anything else. That has been the single most important thing - for me Paul coming back to good health and his recovery is still number one priority, and I don't care about all the other things really. Every three months for the next 24 months we're going to be concerned about looking after things, and God knows for how long thereafter."


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