Friday May 11th, 2001
Niki Lauda said that Jaguar still intend to re-locate to a new home and reiterated that the team need a wind tunnel if they are to make major improvements. Lauda insisted that he has not stepped onto Bobby Rahal's toes and said that the two work well together. But he added that it could take three-years to get Jaguar to the top of the sport.
"There's no confusion between Rahal and myself," said Lauda. "First of all we are in different positions. He runs Jaguar Racing, I run the group. There are no problems whatsoever. It's Bobby's responsibility for the running of the racing team, but we work like twins together so if there's a situation coming up we sit down and discuss it and then take a decision together.
"I'm enjoying it very much because this is what I expected from the beginning - that it is not going to be a piece of cake. It's going to be a three-year programme at least."
Lauda admitted that the Jaguar R2 car is not quick enough and that technical modifications are needed, "especially in the aerodynamic areas".
That has not been easy for Milton Keynes-based Jaguar, who quashed plans to build a new factory and base at Silverstone and do not have their own wind tunnel. Those are two factors that Lauda indicated the team are close to rectifying.
He added: "The Jaguar Racing factory is something that we are working on. It's certainly going ahead. We're just evaluating different opportunities. The first thing we have to establish is the wind tunnel because as you know we are limited on wind tunnel use in California, which is certainly no good.
"We have no wind tunnels produced for ourselves. We have a solution in Southampton where we are trying to get some hours in but in January the new Reynard tunnel will be ready and we will try to get some hours in there."
Lauda added he has no problem with Eddie Irvine's playboy image because the British driver cannot take girlfriends into his Formula One car with him.
"I have no problem with him whatseover," Lauda said at the Austrian Grand Prix when questioned about reports in the British media suggesting that some at Jaguar felt Irvine was lazy and too much of a playboy.
"He's doing a perfect job for us driving the car, what he does off the track I don't really care about. As long as he is here together with (Pedro) de la Rosa I think that they are the perfect team.
"If there is a problem or not doesn't really concern me because he can't take the girls in his Formula One car and when he drives he does the perfect job."
Northern Irishman Irvine was 12th-fastest in Friday's free practice, while Spaniard de la Rosa was 15th