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OCTOBER 28, 2000

Irvine predicts improvement for Jaguar next season

UNDETERRED by a less than impressive debut season, Eddie Irvine has predicted that the Jaguar Racing team will improve over the closed season and into 2001.

Irvine, who scored the team's only four championship points in their debut season in 2000, insisted that the Milton Keynes-based team will be better next year, even if he is yet to make his mind up to what new boss Bobby Rahal will bring.

"I think we will get better," said Irvine. "We have areas to work on, but we know them now so that makes it a little bit easier. I think we will see big changes for next year.

"We have gone through all the points where we need to improve and I think if we get it right we will be okay next season.

"I believe that we have enough experience here and we have some new people here, so my feelings and thoughts are that you are going to see some improvements. We are going to be stronger and there is going to be better fight in the Jaguar next year.

"I think we have to wait and see what Bobby does. Some good people have already joined us and we will get more, but we have good guys already."

Irvine is aware of the part he must play in Jaguar's development, which he believes must start at the resumption of testing in December.

He added: "I have to raise my game, everybody has. The whole thing will start to snowball and we will get better. The potential is there.

"Maybe I can't drive faster, but we can be more careful and work harder. It was only possible to work on a certain level last season, as we couldn't get any better. But if we don't get better from December we are in big trouble."

Irvine will be partnered by Brazilian Luciano Burti next year as Johnny Herbert heads for America. But it is in the United States that Irvine will spend the majority of his time off before his duties re-start in December.

"Over the next 30 days I am going to be in Miami, New York, doing what I always do which is having fun," he said.