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Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report
Irvine: Jaguar will Struggle to Reach the Top

Saturday May 20th, 2000

Jaguar will find difficulty reaching the top in Formula One, their driver Eddie Irvine predicted on Saturday.

Irvine, eighth on the grid for Sunday's European Grand Prix, said he was not at all confident that his new team could improve to match the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

He said: "The potential has always been there to finish as high as fifth, apart from Barcelona, but we're not getting the level of performance out of the car.

"We're sorting out some problems at the moment but we're remaining at the same level, even though the reliability of the car has improved.

"It is very difficult for us to move up to another level. When you look at Williams they are basically at the same speed as we are, but they have a lot more potential to do better than us.

"It hasn't been easy to make that step up to the big boys as they are a lot more established. We've made a few set-up changes since testing in Jerez last week and we need more performance."

Irvine was stranded on three wheels in the pit-lane while driving for Ferrari during last year's race. The mix-up dented his championship hopes.

This time he will partner fellow Briton Johnny Herbert, competing in his 150th Grand Prix, aware that he must make a rapid start to be competitive.

"The start is everything for me," Irvine added. "Unless I get a good start then I'm out of it.

"If I start at the Nuerburgring like I've been doing in the past few races, I'll be 13th at the first corner and you cannot do anything from there.

"But if I can get off the grid quickly I think we can challenge for a position in the points."

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