KUALA LUMPUR: The Jaguar Racing team have a new team and a new engine – and a couple of new drivers. It's a fresh start after they had fired everyone last year. And they are hoping to make an impact in the F1 race only in two years' time.
The drivers are Australian Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia of Brazil, replacing Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine. The 27-year-old Webber was with Minardi last year while Pizzonia, 22, who hails from the Amazon, is making his debut in F1 this year.
The Jaguar team are using the new Fordcosworth engine this year.
Jaguar Racing team made their debut in 2000 and last year they finished seventh out of 11 teams in the constructers' standings with eight points.
Jackie Stewart, the former three-time world motor racing champion and Jaguar Racing team director, said they expected to match the other strong teams like Ferrari and McLaren in two to three years.
“We have young drivers in Webber and Pizzonia but they are hungry for success and should be a match for world class drivers like Michael (Schumacher) and David (Coulthard) in two years' time.
“Webber is an experienced driver and Coulthard was impressed with the Australian's driving in Melbourne two weeks ago. He could not overtake Webber in the first 15 laps of the race,'' Stewart told a press conference yesterday.
In Melbourne, Pizzonia, who made his debut, finished 13th while Webber did not finish because of mechanical problems.
Stewart said they had new engine and there are hoping for more power and reliability.
“However, there is always a high possibility of mechanical failure when you use a new engine,” said Stewart. “We hope our drivers will finish in the top eight in qualifying. On Sunday, with a little luck, we are hoping for a top six finish.''