IN THE POINTS MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 12, 2000 - Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda put the trials and tribulations of last season well and truly behind it today when both of its cars finished in the top 10 of the Australian Grand...
IN THE POINTS
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 12, 2000 - Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda put the trials and tribulations of last season well and truly behind it today when both of its cars finished in the top 10 of the Australian Grand Prix. Adding to the Brackley-based team's satisfaction, Jacques Villeneuve scored the young team's first-ever Formula One points when he powered his BAR Honda 002 to a fine fourth-place finish. Team mate, Ricardo Zonta, also ended up in the points when original sixth-place finisher, Mika Salo, was disqualified from the final results after it was discovered the front wing of his Sauber was not in conformity with FIA technical regulations. BAR Honda adopted a one-stop strategy for fuel and tyres, both Zonta and Villeneuve holding positions in the top 10 to the end of the Australian Grand Prix after their pit stops on laps 35 and 37 respectively.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE Position: 4th Fastest lap: 1:33.185 Speed: 194.720km/h
"It feels great. I knew we would be able to score points today, and after the struggle of the last year, it is good to finally achieve this. To do it in our first race with Honda is really good. I had hoped we could get onto the podium, but Ralf (Schumacher) passed me in the pit stops, although I really didn't think the Williams would last the distance. This is a great start to the season and gives us something to build on."
RICARDO ZONTA Position: 6th Fastest lap: 1:33.435 Speed:194.651km/h
"I had a lot of understeer throughout the race and this cost me some time in the fast corners. I thought I was going to finish sixth and score a point, but I couldn't do anything about Salo coming past me. I had a few problems this weekend, but today the car and engine ran perfectly. Salo's disqualification is great for us since it means we ended up with two cars in the top six."
CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing
"To be the only team other than Ferrari to get both its cars to the finish is a wonderful result, but equally, to get points on the board this early in the season is also great. It's been a long wait, but the team has worked extremely well together to gain the performance and reliability we enjoyed today. There's no doubt that Honda's arrival has contributed in a major way to this result. Honda work very carefully and methodically, and the reliability we had today is at least in part the result of their efforts. We need to improve our speed, but that comes from three elements - the car, the driver and the engine - and we will be working on all of them in the weeks ahead."
ADRIAN REYNARD, Technical Development Director, British American Racing
"I feel relieved that we have finally scored our first points and gratified that our new partnership with Honda is already showing great promise. After what we went through last year, every single member of this team deserves the satisfaction that has come from today's performance. They have put in a massive effort to get to this point. Speaking personally, I will admit to having had a little cry on that final lap."
<pre> Chassis allocation Jacques Villeneuve BAR002/03 Ricardo Zonta BAR002/04 Spare car BAR002/01 </pre>