Bright sunshine and warm track temperatures prevailed in Monza today as Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis qualified 9th and 16th respectively for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. The team were encouraged by the ...
Bright sunshine and warm track temperatures prevailed in Monza today as Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis qualified 9th and 16th respectively for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. The team were encouraged by the performance and reliability of Honda's latest specification engine, which Jacques ran for the crucial 60-minute session, and are optimistic that a strong race could provide an opportunity to boost B.A.R's 2002 points tally.
"After Ferrari, we are ahead of the other Bridgestone runners by a good margin so we're quite happy, considering the fact that we didn't get a good lap. I'm a little frustrated because we could have been 7th. There was a good three tenths left in the car but I made mistakes on the second run braking into Ascari and the last corner. Monza is a track where you think you can go faster but the moment you try, it's very easy to make a mistake because we're running such low downforce. The tyre was taking longer to 'come-in' so we did two timed laps on the second run and the better lap was the second of the two. That gives you one less run and less chances but it worked in our favour today. The engine seems to be more reliable so hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow but we need to improve our start to make sure we don't lose out into the first corner. Hopefully it will be possible to get a point tomorrow."
"Congratulations to Jacques for maximising the set-up of the car and the only latest specification engine that was available to the team this weekend. It is positive news for us looking ahead to the next two races as it looks like the performance advantage is very large. On the other hand, I would like to thank my team for doing the best job possible with the equipment they had available."
David Richards, Team Principal
"An excellent performance from Jacques utilising the latest specification Honda engine to full advantage. Our race performance this season has usually been stronger than in qualifying and I'm therefore confident that Jacques should be able to put up a strong challenge for points tomorrow. It's disappointing for Olivier to start so far down the grid but the traffic did not fall in his favour on a couple of occasions. Hopefully he'll have better luck in the race."
Best lap time: 1:22.126 (11 laps)
Best lap time: 1:22.645 (10 laps)