[jag-news] [F1] Australian Grand Prix - Result

Weather: Dry and Sunny
Track Temp: 24 degrees
Air temp: 18 - 19 degrees

The first race of the 2004 Formula One season got underway today at
Albert Park (Melbourne) with Mark Webber starting from 6th on the
grid at his home race and rookie Christian Klien in 19th. Both cars
got off to a clean start and the pace of the Jaguar R5 became
evident as Mark raced in 8th position closing the gap between him
and the BMW-Williams of Montoya down to 2 seconds.

Unfortunately Mark lost 6th gear on lap 27 and 7th gear shortly
afterwards. His lap times slowed and the decision was taken to
retire. Christian drove a determined race from the back and
finished a competitive 11th in his first race. The team now go to
Malaysia confident that they have a good racing package in the R5
and with two determined drivers.

Mark Webber
Of course I am disappointed not to have finished today at my home
race but these things happen and you have to take the rough times
with the smooth. The boys did an excellent job in preparing the car
for me and it was clear that we were competitive out there as I
settled into 8th position and kept on Montoya’s tail. The balance
of the car was good and to have lost 6th and 7th gears is
frustrating since we have not had this problem before given that we
have completed over 6000km of testing. At a race where we are at
65% throttle I could not continue with only five gears and we had
no choice but to retire. The R5 has been good all weekend and I am
pleased with the progress that we have made versus last year. I
posted some good aggressive laps out there and there is more to
come from us, roll on Malaysia

Christian Klien
To have finished my first Grand Prix race in 11th position is
fantastic. I was frustrated at first to be starting in 19th
position, however, it actually allowed me to work my way up a few
places and build my confidence. My start was slightly slower than I
had hoped but the track was really grippy. I managed to stay out of
trouble and when I saw the opportunity to overtake the Toyota of
Oliver Panis I took it. I am really pleased with the balance and
set-up of the car, Cosworth and Michelin have done a great job and
my mechanics prepared the car really well. It’s good to have these
laps under my belt now as I head to Malaysia for the second race. I
will be working hard on my fitness between now and then in order to
be as prepared as I can be for the extreme heat that I have been
warned about.==

Our Question - is Formula 1 now so boring that something radical
needs doing? The FIA’s attempts at preventing M Schumacher from
winning most of the time failed miserably yet again and the
current World Champion led the ‘race’ from start to
finish vanishing into the distance as far as the other cars were
concerned. Maybe Foster’s sponsorship organisers ought to have put
some stronger liquid in his bottle …

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