Friday June 29th, 2001
Jaguar's Eddie Irvine was able to shine in today's free practice for the French Grand Prix despite grounding to a halt with just three laps completed in the morning, the Irishman setting a promising second quickest time at the Magny Cours track.
Irvine, who had finished only one race in the points so far this season, was less than two tenths of a second slower than McLaren's David Coulthard, but the Jaguar driver was not happy with his car's handling. However, the second place was a boost for his team after an electrical glitch forced him to miss most of the first session.
"The circuit was very slippery in the morning session and windy too and I lost the majority of that session anyway with an electrical problem that shut the car down," said Irvine. "I'm sure the team will fine-tune the car in an effort to extract more downforce for qualifying but I'm reasonably satisfied with how we have started the weekend."
Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa was more than a second slower than teammate Irvine, finishing the session in eighth place. De la Rosa also complained about the slippery track but was confident for Saturday's qualifying.
"We played catch-up during the first session and the track was very dirty and slippery," said de la Rosa. "We did, however, make gradual progress throughout the two sessions to the extent that we have a much better idea of where we want to go and how we're going to get there. There are certainly more changes planned before qualifying and so far everything seems to be OK."
Published at 13:51:42 GMT