French GP: BAR preview

The midpoint of the season sees the return of Formula One to Europe for round 10 of the 2005 World Championship - the French Grand Prix. After a positive weekend in Canada, where Jenson Button celebrated his second pole position, and further ...

The midpoint of the season sees the return of Formula One to Europe for round 10 of the 2005 World Championship - the French Grand Prix. After a positive weekend in Canada, where Jenson Button celebrated his second pole position, and further progress in free practice and qualifying in Indianapolis, the team is looking forward to a more successful second half of the season.

Following the events of the US Grand Prix, the team is eager to get back racing in Magny Cours and has been focusing on an intensive test in Jerez this week in preparation.

The next three weeks will be a busy period for the B*A*R Honda team. All three drivers have undertaken the testing duties in Jerez this week and immediately after will attend one of the most popular events in the UK motorsport calendar, the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Jenson and Takuma will be will running the 2005 B?A?R Honda 007 up the famous hill during the weekend, whilst team Sporting Director Gil de Ferran and third driver Anthony Davidson will both be behind the wheel of the Honda NSX which raced at the 2004 24-hour Nürburgring race and the historic Honda RA 272 which claimed Honda's first Grand Prix victory in 1965. The team will then be travelling to Magny Cours for the first of four Grands Prix in the next five weeks.

The 4.4 km Circuit de Nevers in Magny Cours is well-known for its unusually smooth surface and grip levels to change throughout the day as temperatures rise and fall. This causes headaches for the drivers and engineers who have to chase the set-up as conditions change. Overtaking is notoriously difficult at Magny Cours - the track itself is made up of a combination of slow hairpins, medium-speed turns and fast chicanes - with the best opportunity being under braking for the Adelaide Hairpin.

Jenson Button:

"I really enjoy racing in Magny Cours. The circuit surface is smooth and very flowing - which is how I prefer it. We had a reasonable result there in 2004, when I finished in 5th position, and hopefully we will be more competitive there this year. We hope to be a lot closer to the McLarens and Renaults than we were in Indy and we have had a positive test this week in Jerez, so I'm looking forward to the race."

Takuma Sato:

"We showed the potential of the car at the last two races and although we were running a very different set-up package to the one we need at Magny Cours, we are confident that we should be strong there. We are carrying forward many positive aspects from the Jerez test this week and I believe that we can reproduce the performance and be as competitive as we were in North America and I am very positive going to the race next week. "

Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:

"We came back from F1's North American tour quite encouraged by the performance of our car. This past week we have been testing in Jerez for three days evaluating tyres, aerodynamic developments and mechanical changes in view of the coming races in France and England."

"Given the fact that our last race in high downforce configuration was at the Nürburgring, and our performance there left something to be desired, much of our efforts in testing were concentrated on improving the aero specification in this configuration. We are hopeful that we will be fighting at the sharp end of the field again in Magny Cours."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:

"With a positive test in Jerez behind us, and fresh engines for the race, we have good reason to expect a strong showing in Magny Cours."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , Gil de Ferran , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams McLaren