BAR works on driver improvement

BAR works on driver improvement

BAR team principal David Richards is keen to help his drivers improve not just their on-track performances but also build up their input to the team as a whole. Richards wants the drivers to think about how to improve themselves and learn to help...

BAR team principal David Richards is keen to help his drivers improve not just their on-track performances but also build up their input to the team as a whole. Richards wants the drivers to think about how to improve themselves and learn to help motivate everyone around them.

Jenson Button and David Richards.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
"Talking now of the drivers," he said, "previously it might have been a case of: well, 'I drive the car'. But we say, no, you've got to understand, you are not the best driver in the world today. You have weaknesses and we have to find ways of improving that."

"Jenson (Button) and I went out for lunch together and he said, 'this is intriguing because you are taught to believe that as a racing driver you are perfect. But now I look at it, I can understand how I can improve'."

"It might be (a driver's) approach to understanding one aspect of the car or his approach to his relationship with his race engineer or his approach to the way he tackles the whole weekend."

"For instance, I found out that the drivers were arriving for the weekend on a Thursday and it was only at that point that they learned what the whole programme for the weekend was going to be in terms of testing tyres and so on. So we brought that forward and made them join a conference call on a Monday morning. Jenson has really bought into it well, and Taku (Sato) as well."

With the departure of Jacques Villeneuve, Button has taken up the mantle of team leader. Despite differences between Button and Villeneuve last season, Jenson believes he learned from the Canadian. During the recent winter testing he has been taking up the reins of his new role.

"I think it's just a natural progression really over the winter," said Button. "I've just had more feed back and more input, whereas last year when Jacques was around, he was obviously very opinionated as we all know, but it was a good thing, because he would push very hard for new parts on the car, whereas I would sit back a little bit more."

"But I've learned from him that you really do need to push, even when there aren't any problems, you've really got to keep the whole team on their toes and that's where I've been working very hard this winter."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards