Belgian GP: BAR race notes

After a much-improved performance in warm-up this morning, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis was hoping that the worst of a difficult weekend was behind him. Despite the fact that his race didn't get off to a flying start he pushed hard to...

After a much-improved performance in warm-up this morning, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis was hoping that the worst of a difficult weekend was behind him. Despite the fact that his race didn't get off to a flying start he pushed hard to make the best of things only to suffer an engine failure just as a finish was firmly in his sights. Jacques Villeneuve's determined performance helped him to 8th today but he was disappointed that traffic potentially cost him a point finish.

Jacques Villeneuve

"As the race turned out, we had a real chance of getting 6th today but I had a terrible start and then lost time behind McNish. It was a fair fight but that wasn't the case with Fisichella. I spent too much time stuck behind him and because of his strategy, we could have been fighting together until the end of the race if his engine hadn't blown. Generally the car was working well and I pushed as hard as I could. Monza is going to be difficult for us I think. It's a real power circuit so we've got some work to do in testing next week to find a way of making us more reliable."

Olivier Panis

"I was heavier on fuel than most of those around me so I didn't get such a good start because of that and, as everybody saw, I lost places. After that I battled as hard as I could to regain position but it was too late. I kept pushing throughout the race and I could have finished behind Jacques but once again I was unlucky with the engine and that was the end of my race. I really hope that we can fix the problem because Monza is a power circuit and it's going to be a tough race. We're testing there next week so have a lot of work to do."

David Richards, Team Principal

"After a difficult start for Jacques and Olivier, both drivers pushed hard to try to make up the deficit after losing places into the first corner. Olivier fought back as best he could but unfortunately suffered an engine failure just 5 laps from the end of the race. We were pushing hard to get the best from the package today and we lost an engine as a consequence. Having said that, we saw a number of other teams lose engines so the long downhill run into Eau Rouge had its own part to play. Jacques drove a very hard race and did well to finish 8th and so close to Irvine and Salo. Monza is a tough high-speed circuit so we have some work to do next week in testing but we're hopeful of better things there in two weeks' time."


Driver/Chassis
Jacques Villeneuve
BAR004/06
Position: 8th
Best lap time: 1:49.787


Olivier Panis
BAR004/08
Position: DNF (39 laps)
Best lap time: 1:50.275
T-Car: BAR004/09

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards