Friday August 17th, 2001
Irishman Eddie Irvine is hoping for a good qualifying on Saturday following a promising start to his Hungarian Grand Prix today, when he set the fifth fastest time driving the Michelin-shod Jaguar.
Irvine, who has been calling for qualifying improvements all year long in order to be able to score more points, was only seven tenths slower than Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari, who topped the timesheets today. The Jaguar driver admitted he was happy with the way his day had gone and hoped for a good result in qualifying at the Hungaroring.
"The car feels a little nervous around here but we expected that on the first day. The rear end of the car feels slightly unstable and it's too early to say why. We've come-up with all the right answers today and I just hope we can qualify well.
"We completed our job list today and focused a lot on tyre evaluation and set-up work. I'm pretty sure about which tyre to go for and I'm sure the Michelins will get even better over the weekend as the track gains more grip."
Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa was unable to match the pace of his teammate, finishing the day with the eleventh quickest time after a fuel pressure problem hampered his progress during the morning session.
"I suffered slightly during the first session with fuel pressure problem but the mechanics did a good job of swapping the engine in time for the second session," explained de la Rosa. "The car feels quite good, but I could do with a little more grip.
"We certainly have a good starting set-up for tomorrow and I'm sure we'll benefit from some fine tuning work in the morning before qualifying."
Published at 15:15:32 GMT