BAT deny Richards on rocky ground

British American Tobacco (BAT) has dismissed rumours that BAR Principal David Richards is on his way out of the team. Recently reports surfaced from the BBC that BAT was trying to oust Richards from his position due to concerns over the...

British American Tobacco (BAT) has dismissed rumours that BAR Principal David Richards is on his way out of the team. Recently reports surfaced from the BBC that BAT was trying to oust Richards from his position due to concerns over the performance of BAR this season. Senior BAT Executive Nick Brookes was apparently amazed at the allegations.

"I fell off my chair when I read this," he said. "It is total tosh. We have great confidence in David Richards' leadership and in fact are discussing extending his contract with the team. We'd expect him to stay with us for as long as we are involved in F1."

Richards took over BAR from Craig Pollock in December last year and soon after shook things up by disposing of aerodynamicist Malcolm Oastler and designer Andy Green. Former Williams aerodynamics specialist Geoff Willis now heads the technical side of operations.

The BBC reported that BAT was not happy that Richards hadn't cut back on financial overheads or improved the team's performance. In 2001, BAR was 6th in the Constructors standings with 17 points but slipped down to 8th this year with a meagre seven points.

BAT's presence in F1 will come to an end in 2006 when tobacco sponsorship is banned.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Geoff Willis , David Richards , Andy Green
Teams Williams