How frustrating for the Green Machines in F1! So far up the time sheets in testing & practice only to bugger up qualifying & spend the race strugling to get to the points!
Once they qualify about 8-10 then we should see some podiums.
Yes...qualifying is a concern for Jaguar...but things look to be getting better. In the recent Monza test (that finished yesterday i think) Irvine concentrated on qualifying set-up, and managed to get the fastest time. In the race they are the 4th fastest team (at Silverstone, Irvine got the 5th fastest time and De La Rosa got the 7th fastest time). The reason for why they are bad in qualifying is unknown really, i have heard the engine is more of a 'race' engine for some reason (something to do with the engine packaging?), also i believe low fuel levels are affecting the grip of the car. Anything else you want to know, just ask me, i know a fair amount about the Jaguars.
As much as I'd like to see Jag up the front, I dont think it will happen. F1 is so tough to be the best at, and Ford/Jaguar don't have/aren't putting in what it takes to be there.
The best engineers in the world are at other teams, ala Ferrari, Mclaren and Williams. With out these engineers (especially the aero engineers) Jaguar won't really get that mucg better then where they are now. The engine is up to par with the others in qualifying, if they sort out a good qualifying engine and aero package then they're in for a chance to be competetive.
One of the reasons as to why this year's car has been somewhat uncompetitive is the botched up job done by Gary anderson, the chief designer last year. He was sacked early this year, but the car was already 80% complete, so the other designers didn't have enough time to redesign the poor aerodynamics on the car. Since then, Mark Handford and others have done a great job in trying to implement new aerodynamics to the car, which have greatly improved handling. The general feeling is that Jaguar should be able to get it right next year, and i believe they have potential for 20+ points next year. The engine is good this year(top 4 in ranking of power i believe), and i think Jaguar will be getting top-10 results before the end of the year. At Magny Cours, Irvine set his fastest lap on his first run (when the track wasn't clean) and spun in the other 3 runs. Had he kept the car on the track, he probably could have snared a top-10 spot easily. Don't worry, jaguar are on their way up...what you forget is that Jaguar is a 2 year old team and are on par with BAR, who are a 3 year old team. It took Ferrari years and years to set up their car to win a championship, and I think you shoudln't write off Jaguar's chances at all. They are capable of getting more than 5 points for the rest of the year...looking at their times in testing at Monza, they should go well.
One final thing, Irvine was unable to go better than 15th in qualifying at Silverstone, because he had to get into the spare car which was set up for De La Rosa, and didn't have the new floor. Irvine usually is 2 or 3 spots ahead of De La Rosa on the grid, De La rosa was 13th. He could have got 10th with more luck.
I genuinly beleive that Jaguar are on the right track, the car can obviously be made quick (as evidenced by the Monza tests & practice at Silverstone). It seems for the first few races (upto Monaco) the team was concentrating on reliability (credibility was term used) & as the new aero pieces have flowed the car has been on an upward swing. Now all they need is a little luck & put the whole thing together. I think the engine is fine, seems to be reasonable on power with good reliability & drivability (only 2 race failures I think) its down to finding the right cahsis combinations at the various circuits.
I'd love to see Jaguar mixing it with the guys upfront, don't get me wrong, I just think its going to take quite a while yet to get there. And lets be honest, who cares about top 10 finishes, I want them to aim for the podium atleast...
Yes...that was a good qualifying session. Pedro De La Rosa is starting to impress( 9th from his usual position of 14/15) , and Irvine managed to go a bit better than normal( 11th from 13).
I think the reason for why Irvine was fastest on Friday, and was 11th in qualifying, is because i think Jaguar test out their qualifying trim in practice, while the other teams try out race trim, with heavy fuel loads etc. Another thing working against Jaguar, is that they have to use all weekend working out the best set-up, especially because of the new aero mods, so while most other teams work out the best set-up for qualifying, Jaguar has to work overnight and on the next day to find the best set up, which explains their fast race pace.