Australian GP: BAR race notes

The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a reliable start to the 2005 season in today's curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix, but the drivers were compromised by a combination of poor starting positions and lack of performance early in the ...

The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a reliable start to the 2005 season in today's curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix, but the drivers were compromised by a combination of poor starting positions and lack of performance early in the race.

Having started the race from the fourth row of the grid, Jenson lost three places to complete the first lap in 11th. His team-mate Takuma made up six places off the start, charging through the rear of the pack from his back row grid slot to 14th place. They completed two pitstops each but failed to catch the top 10 as both drivers struggled with poor tyre warm-up and found it difficult to follow other cars closely enough to overtake.

Since both drivers would have been out of the points at the end of the race, the team decided to pull both cars into the pit on the final lap. This failure to finish provides the opportunity to use new engines in the next race without further penalty.

Jenson Button, 11th
Best Lap Time: 1:26.260

"I had a poor start to the race and I was losing up to three seconds a lap behind Villeneuve. Once I passed him after the second pitstop the car was pretty good. The car ran reliably but clearly this wasn't the way we wanted to start the season and we have a lot of work to do to get back up to where we need to be."

Takuma Sato 14th
Best Lap Time: 1:27.877

"It was a difficult weekend for all of us, particularly in the race with me starting at the back of the grid. The team did a great job repairing the car for me for today and obviously I drove the best I could to recover some positions, but generally we were off the pace and we will work hard to turn this around for the next race."

Geoff Willis , Technical Director

"On the positive side both cars ran reliably and we proved towards the end of the race with Jenson that we could record very competitive lap times. At the start of the race both drivers struggled with poor tyre warm-up and both found it difficult to follow other cars closely enough to give them the opportunity to overtake. In the last stint, once we were in clear air, the cars were very much better and performed as we expected.

"As we were out of the points, on the last lap we decided to stop both cars which gives us the opportunity to change engines for Malaysia without further penalty. This could be an advantage at a race where we normally encounter high temperatures.

"We are clearly very disappointed with this race performance and will be working very hard to identify our problem and find a solution."

Nick Fry , Chief Executive Officer

"The cars were prepared well, ran reliably and it is a credit to the team that Takuma's car was repaired so rapidly after his accident in first qualifying. However, our car performance was not up to the standard that we have come to expect and our technical team must work to find more pace before the next round in Malaysia. Both drivers performed well and we must now give them the equipment they need to score Championship points."

Shuhei Nakamoto , Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development

"We have obviously had a disappointing day today. We have a lot of work to do, it's as simple as that."

-bar honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Geoff Willis , Nick Fry , Shuhei Nakamoto