APRIL 22, 2002
Jaguar's next step
JAGUAR RACING has strengthened its technical staff with the hiring of two aerodynamicists: one from McLaren and the other from Arrows. Mark Gillan has been poached from Woking and Peter Matchin from Arrows. The latter recruitment is the more controversial as Jaguar's sister company Cosworth is supplying engines to Arrows.
However, to be successful in Formula 1 there are no time for niceties and so Jaguar should be applauded for doing what is necessary to get the problems fixed.
The recruitments have been in the pipeline for some time and are not the result of the recent management changes. These are expected to have a positive effect on the team as they bring it closer to the Ford Motor Company's top engineers and also to the bosses in Detroit. If they continue to support the project things will get better.
Jaguar Racing is not having an easy time at the moment but adversity can often be the best spur for future success and so we should watch out for a much better package next year. The most important thing in the interim is that Jaguar starts to make improvements in the months ahead, even if it is only to outqualify and outrace Arrows.
Much will therefore depend on the quality of the aerodynamic information coming out of the new Jaguar Racing windtunnel at Brackley.
A little success now will go a long way to giving the team confidence and that is vital for morale. The first step will be to regularly beat Arrows, which is struggling along on an insufficient budget and without any testing, but is using the same engines as Jaguar.
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