FEBRUARY 22, 2001

Irvine faces wrath of Rahal

JAGUAR RACING boss Bobby Rahal is concerned that Eddie Irvine's negative attitude will not help to pull the team together in its hour of need.

The new R2 has been slow in testing, and the outspoken Ulsterman openly criticized the car, and the team, after a testing session in Valencia.

There have been many behind-the-scenes changes over the pre-season, and it is a very new team that will arrive on the grid in Melbourne. Rahal believes the key to a good team is its motivation, and Irvine's comments are not the right way to go about getting it.

"I think Eddie is trying to tweak us into getting the job done, but I believe the way to motivate is to be positive," explained Rahal in British newspaper The Independent.

"I mentioned to Eddie that I thought he needed to contribute his commitment more positively."

He explained that when he arrived at the Milton Keynes base he found a team with very bad morale, and Irvine's comments did nothing to change that.

But he now feels that Jaguar is back together, and although the car is not performing as they had hoped, the team is firing towards the future.

"People now see a vision and a goal," said Rahal, "and together we are going to try to achieve that."