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Jaguar reveal evolutionary R5 in Barcelona 18 Jan 2004

Christian Klien, Mark Webber and the Jaguar R5

The Jaguar Racing Formula One team today (Sunday) launched their 2004 challenger, the Jaguar R5, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Drivers Mark Webber and new signing Christian Klien unveiled the evolutionary contender that aims to build upon the core strengths of last year's R4.

"The Jaguar R5 is the first car that we have been able to design completely from scratch with our new management structure in place and with our new philosophy of building on what we learnt from last season," explained David Pitchforth, Managing Director of Jaguar Racing. "This car has been started significantly earlier than in the past and is an iteration of a car that we already understand pretty well and a car that had many strengths. I would never say that we got to grips with every problem on last year's but one of the things we have resisted doing on R5 is changing things simply because we didn't understand them," added Pitchforth.

"Even if we carry over some of the problems that R4 had, it is better to run something whose quirks you believe you can fix than take a gamble on something new."

Head of Aerodynamics, Ben Agathangelou, explained the philosophy behind R5: "We have learnt so much from last year's R4 by working in a low-risk, conventional fashion and now that we have stability within every department of the team it has given us a chance to push really hard to make the new R5 an improvement. It has been an education for me because it's the first time we have had a car that we trust and understand pretty well. That has meant that we could refine and evolve it rather than take a few risks, which is what we had to do in the past."

Entering his second season with the team, Australian Webber commented: " I had the opportunity to straight-line test the car in Lommel last week and the initial results were pleasing. This year we will have to work on our race performances as they have been a weaker area for us in the past. In qualifying we did pretty well and I really enjoyed that part of it but you have to take that on to the race if you want to score good points and that is going to be as difficult as ever. The rule allowing just one engine means that people may struggle for reliability in the first few races and we have to be ready to capitalise when those opportunities come along. A good start will also give us momentum throughout the year, which we will need if we are to keep moving forward. Basically we need to see good progression and grab more points than we did in 2003"

Partnering Webber is one of Formula One racing's newest drivers, Austrian Klien, 20, who joined Jaguar just over seven weeks ago. "I could not have asked for a better opportunity to the start off my F1 challenge. I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me but the support within the team is terrific and in Mark, I have not only a very quick team mate but also someone who is a great team player. I cannot wait to get into the new car and begin what will be a very intense few weeks of testing. With only six weeks until the season's opening race, the workload will be very heavy but this is what I have always dreamed of doing. There is a big difference between everything in Formula One and where I came from in Formula Three. It is, however, what I expected and what I now have to fully prepare for."

Nick Hayes, Technical Director at Cosworth Racing took up the engine story: "The CR6-V10 engine is a development of last year's engine, so it remains a 90-degree V10, but we have new longer-life requirements in 2004 thanks to the rule that means we can only use one engine over a whole Grand Prix weekend. Previously an engine would last for 450-500km but now we expect engines to have to survive for around 800km so we've been doing a lot of work on the CR6 to extract the best performance but at the right life. A lot of the components in a 2003 engine wouldn't last for much more than a race, let alone a whole weekend, so much of our recent work was seeing how we can extend the lifespan without hurting performance. It will certainly be a challenging season for all engines on the grid!"

The Jaguar R5 was straight-line tested last Monday at Ford Motor Company's Proving Ground in Lommel, Belgium and will today run for the first time on a Grand Prix circuit at the Circuit de Catalunya.

See also: Jaguar R5 launch - in pictures