The build-up to the final race of the 2004 season got underway in Sao Paulo today with the first free practice sessions for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. The championship may well have been decided but B*A*R's objective today was to achieve the...
The build-up to the final race of the 2004 season got underway in Sao Paulo today with the first free practice sessions for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. The championship may well have been decided but B*A*R's objective today was to achieve the best possible start to the race it hopes will secure the team 2nd place in the Constructors' standings.
As usual, Anthony Davidson conducted most of the running this morning, completing 22 laps to achieve the 5th fastest time. Takuma Sato finished 8th and Jenson Button ended the session 14th.
This afternoon, the drivers achieved their full programme of tyre selection and set-up work, with Jenson, Anthony and Takuma securing the 4th, 5th and 6th fastest times respectively, separated by just three tenths.
"It's been a reasonably good first day in preparation for what is a crucial race for us. We achieved everything we planned in terms of tyre comparisons and set-up. The circuit was very dirty this morning but it had cleaned up an awful lot by this afternoon, so we were able to achieve some good testing."
"The circuit is still pretty bumpy despite the resurfacing work they've done here - particularly at turns one and six. Generally I'm happy with the start we've made to the weekend and I look forward to us getting stronger as we continue working towards the race."
"Today was a good start to the weekend. We did not suffer any problems at all and the car was competitive and comfortable straight away, so it was an encouraging session. We tried different set-ups and tyres, collecting all of the information we needed. If the car keeps working the way it has been today and remains consistent, we will be looking good for tomorrow's qualifying and for the race on Sunday."
"Today went pretty well. We had a very good tyre test and I feel pretty confident in our tyre choice for the race. It is my first time here and it is quite a bumpy track but I got to grips with it quickly as the laps are short, which enabled me to do more and learn the track quicker. We seem to be quick enough and I am fairly optimistic that Jenson and Taku can have a strong race on Sunday."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"I'm very pleased with the start that we've made to this important weekend and it's good to see all three of our drivers side by side in the top six and looking so strong. It is particularly pleasing that Anthony has ended his contribution to the season on a high note, yet again performing well at a circuit he has never experienced before."
"He has played a crucial part in our race development this year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his unfailing focus and determination. As for the rest of this weekend, I'm confident that we have made a good first step towards achieving our objectives for the season finale."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Our last three-car Friday of the season has gone well and with all three cars completing their programmes we have good information on which to base our tyre decision for tomorrow morning. Despite the recent resurfacing, the track is as bumpy as ever and the track took a long time to clean up. We look to have a competitive pace today so we have a good basis to work with tomorrow with which to determine our race set-up."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"A solid day - to have all three drivers in the top six is good. The times are very close once again so we will need strong performances from Jenson and Takuma tomorrow. I would like to thank Anthony as he has done a great job for us all year in the Friday sessions. I am pleased that he has shown once again how fast he can be, particularly at a track he has never visited."
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Practice session 1: 14th, 1:14.187
Practice session 2: 4th, 1:11.731
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-06
Practice session 1: 8th, 1:13.839
Practice session 2: 6th, 1:11.988
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-04
Practice session 1: 5th, 1:13.232
Practice session 2: 5th, 1:11.920