BAR HONDA ON THE PACE DOWN UNDER MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 10, 2000 - Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda made a strong start to the new Formula One season with both its cars registering top-10 times during the first day of practice for ...
BAR HONDA ON THE PACE DOWN UNDER
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 10, 2000 - Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda made a strong start to the new Formula One season with both its cars registering top-10 times during the first day of practice for this Sunday's Australian Grand Prix. As in pre-season testing, both BAR Hondas ran reliably, helping drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta to set the fifth (1 min 33.525 secs) and ninth (1 min 33.847 secs) fastest times respectively. The session, which marked the official return of BAR technical partner, Honda, to Grand Prix racing after a seven-year absence, was uneventful, the team's engineers concentrating their efforts on helping the drivers fine-tune their cars for tomorrow's all-important qualifying session.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE "To be honest, I'm a little surprised that we're as well up the times as we are, but the car is working well here and basically had a good balance right from the start. I'm pleased that we are finally ready to start the new season and we can start to fight for some good results. It says something for the progress the team has made that we are behind only the Ferraris and McLarens. Now we will see what tomorrow holds."
RICARDO ZONTA "I'm pleased with today's result, and it is very interesting that behind the Ferraris and McLarens, the times are all very close. As we would expect, the track was dirty today, but got better as the day went on. Because of the lack of grip available, we were also running quite a bit of downforce, but tomorrow, we should be able to go to a much lower level of downforce, and that will make us faster on the straights."
CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing "Our positions today say a lot about the amount of work the team has put in over the winter months. The fact that Jacques and Ricardo have posted times within 0.3 seconds of one another also shows we are there or thereabouts. It is extremely difficult in pre-season testing to get a feel for where you in relation to the other teams since you never know in exactly what specification they are running their cars. In any event, today's performance makes for a good start to the season."
MALCOLM OASTLER, Technical Director, British American Racing "So far so good. To have both drivers in the top10 is really rewarding. It shows the whole team has done a good job over the winter. Now we just have to make sure we improve from here through the rest of the season."