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FORMULA ONE: Stewart says five-year Formula still on track.

Jackie Stewart believes his five-year masterplan for Formula One domination is still on schedule.

The three-time former drivers' champion is confident the renamed Jaguar Racing team can spearhead the challenge to the big two of McLaren and Ferrari this year.

Stewart reckons drivers Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine will be in contention for race victories sometime this season ahead of the planned major assault on title glory in 2001.

The Scot said: 'We said we would not be in contention to win races until this year and we would not be in contention to win the world championship until next year and I still stand by that.'

Stewart unveiled his grand plan when he launched the team with his son Paul in 1996 before selling the Milton Keynes-based outfit to engine backers Ford in a pounds 60 million deal last year.

The 60-year-old has since stepped down as chairman of Jaguar Racing, the new name for the team, but still plays a major role in the organisation.

Stewart is confident the all-British driver pairing of Irvine and Herbert can be competitive despite the disappointing showing by the 'big cat' in the opening race in Australia.

Irvine retired early on following a spin and Herbert managed barely a lap before a clutch problem forced him out. The reliability of the Cosworth engine has dogged the team since pre-season testing and Stewart said: 'If we get over this problem we have now and we get some test miles in to work the car out properly, we will be competitive.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 25, 2000
Words:257
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