Jaguar say goodbye in Brazil 24 Oct 2004
After five years and 84 races Jaguar's Formula One involvment ended with more of a whimper than a bang, as Mark Webber collided heavily with team mate Christian Klien heading into turn one at the Brazilian Grand Prix as the pair fought for 11th place.
The crash destroyed the front of Webber's car, putting the Australian out of the race. He chose not to return to the pit lane, instead sitting out the rest of the race by the side of the track. Webber knows that his next season is secure with a move to Williams - but for the rest of the team, the future is far less certain.
Klien seemed to be very much the victim of the crash, caused by Webber trying to force his way through on his young team mate's blind side. He was forced to pit for a new nose cone and returned to nurse his car around for an eventual 14th place finish. Considering the high hopes held for the team when it was formed from the Stewart Grand Prix team in 1999, it was a sad end to the involvement of both Jaguar and parent company Ford in Formula One racing.
The highlights of Jaguar Racing's five year history were two podium finishes scored by Eddie Irvine, with third places in Monaco in 2001 and at the Italian Grand Prix in 2002. More recently the team suffered a serious decline in fortune, finishing the 2004 Constructors' Championship in seventh place, having scored just 10 points throughout the season.
Jaguar's hopes are still high that a buyer will be found for the team in sufficient time to ensure that it will be able to compete next season. But the involvement of the Jaguar brand itself came to an end with a moment of quiet dignity, as the team's pit crew gave a round of applause and waved to TV cameras after Klien made his final stop.