Malaysian GP Friday BAR notes

The Formula One World Drivers'' Championship may have been decided in Japan a fortnight ago, but the top positions in the 2000 World Constructors'' Championship remain to be settled. For Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda, this weekend''s Malaysian ...

The Formula One World Drivers'' Championship may have been decided in Japan a fortnight ago, but the top positions in the 2000 World Constructors'' Championship remain to be settled. For Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda, this weekend''s Malaysian Grand Prix is therefore crucially important since it will determine whether the team finishes fourth, fifth or sixth in the final standings. All the signs looked good today as drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta made strong starts to their preparations for Sunday''s race, registering the sixth and ninth fastest times respectively in the morning practice session. Come the afternoon session and Zonta improved his time by a further 1.5 seconds around the physically demanding circuit near Kuala Lumpur, ending the day a creditable seventh fastest. Unfortunately, Villeneuve''s car developed a fuel pressure problem at the start of the afternoon session and, despite a hugely impressive effort by his mechanics to find a remedy in the time available, the 1997 World Champion was relegated to the role of spectator.

Ricardo Zonta:
"The car looks very good here. The set-up was quite good and we made some useful changes today where the car was going faster and faster all the time. I''m very happy about the progress we have made and I hope I can qualify in the top six tomorrow."

Jacques Villeneuve:
"We''re not sure what the problem was in that last session - the car just wouldn''t run, and we''re trying to find out why at the moment. The car is good. This morning, without doing any set-up work and in just a few laps, it was quick. We were sixth and there was still room for improvement this afternoon, so it''s very annoying that we didn''t get to run."

Malcolm Oastler:
"A fuel pressure problem prevented us from getting Jacques out this afternoon. It''s disappointing, because we could have done with the time on the circuit to develop the car set-up. Ricardo has done well today, though, which suggests our potential here could be quite good. It looks like it is going to be a tight fight for the remaining Championship points up for grabs this year."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ricardo Zonta