Honda is focusing all its energy on BAR this season in the hope of taking its Formula One challenge to the top. The engine manufacturer stopped supplying two teams, the other previously being Jordan, in order to strengthen its partnership with BAR.
Honda is focusing all its energy on BAR this season in the hope of taking its Formula One challenge to the top. The engine manufacturer stopped supplying two teams, the other previously being Jordan, in order to strengthen its partnership with BAR. Speaking at a Honda gathering in Tokyo this week, managing director Takeo Fukui confirmed the company's commitment.
"In Formula One, this season marks the fourth year of our third era of participation on the circuit," he said. "This year, we are focusing all our energies on the BAR Honda team in an all-out effort to rise to the top."
"In an effort to generate more power and maximise revs, we have developed an innovative engine that is much smaller and lighter than its predecessors with a lower centre of gravity. We are also pouring our technical expertise into the development of a new, high-performance chassis."
"As you may know, the 2003 car recently unveiled in Europe bears the Honda logo on its rear wing. This is a sign of our determination to deepen our relationship with BAR, and, by collaborating on a new chassis, to make the BAR team a force to be reckoned with. Test results indicate that we have made great strides with the chassis, and we are confident that we will make similar advances with our other technologies as well."
BAR has not had a hugely successful time in F1 since it joined the championship in 1999 but a lot of changes have been made. David Richards took over as team principal at the end of 2001 and this year sees the addition of Jenson Button to drive alongside BAR stalwart Jacques Villeneuve. Richards has great faith in Button as a future champion and Fukui believes 2004 could be the year BAR Honda challenge for the title.
"Last year, Ferrari was the team to beat," he said. "But, this year, we are doing our best to ensure that our team will regularly challenge for podiums and will be poised to win the championship in 2004."