As Formula One heads across the globe for the final round of the 2004 World Championship in Sao Paulo, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda is looking to secure second place in the Constructors' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend. Despite a...
As Formula One heads across the globe for the final round of the 2004 World Championship in Sao Paulo, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda is looking to secure second place in the Constructors' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend. Despite a sixteen-point lead over Renault, the B*A*R team will not be 'resting on its laurels' and is looking to defend its runners-up position.
The 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix was an eventful race and one whose final result was decided several days after the event. Heavy rain and a number of incidents meant that only nine drivers completed the race. B*A*R's Jenson Button departed on lap 33 after being caught out by standing water that had accumulated on the track at turn three.
B*A*R has prepared for this year's Brazilian race with a three-day test in Jerez, in which third driver Anthony Davidson, together with test driver Enrique Bernoldi, ran through a programme of tyre and aerodynamic work and completed more than 1300 kms of running.
2004 has been an incredible season for B*A*R, even exceeding the team's own ambitious targets. Whilst the objective next weekend is to add another podium to its tally of 11, and cement 2nd in the Constructors' Championship, every member of the team will be wondering if the final piece of the puzzle might yet fall into place. As tough a task as a maiden win may be this weekend, it would of course be the ultimate high note on which to end the season.
"Brazil has always been a race that I have enjoyed. Interlagos is a circuit that has seen some very good racing over the years, especially last year with the wet conditions. It's also a circuit where our car will perform very well, better than in Shanghai and Suzuka I feel. This is the last chance we have of a win this season and probably the best chance over the last few races. You need good braking stability at Interlagos because a lot of the time you're braking and turning in at the same time. I think we have that and so we are looking strong."
"It is a very strange feeling to be going to Brazil after Japan. Usually Suzuka is the last race of the year and I spend some time in Japan after the race. But this time I left Japan immediately to get back to Europe because the time difference between Japan and Brazil is huge. The Interlagos track runs anti-clockwise and is very bumpy. The weather can be unpredictable, so it will be a challenge for us all."
"Our focus in recent races has been to score as many points as possible for the Constructors' Championship and we have been very successful with this. I think our car should suit the Brazilian track well. I would love to end the season with a strong race and I am looking forward to it!"
"The Japanese Grand Prix provided our 11th podium of the season and the team has now collected an impressive 33 points from the last three races. Once again, the combined efforts of B*A*R, Honda and Michelin have shown that the team can deliver top class results. With fantastic Drivers' Championship results for both Jenson and Takuma this year, we have just one race to go in Brazil next week for us to consolidate 2nd place in the Constructors' Championship."
"It will also be one of our best opportunities to aim for that elusive first win as the circuit should suit our car well. It would of course be the result that everyone back at the B*A*R factory in Brackley deserves after what has been a truly sensational year for the team."
Geoffrey Willis, Team Technical Director:
"Although we are going to Interlagos with an almost secure 2nd place in the Championship given our 16 point gap to third place, the team is not taking the position for granted and will be aiming for a strong peformance from both cars. We expect the B*A*R Honda 006 to perform well at this circuit where the car needs to have good stability and aerodynamic efficiency, and the ability to handle the very bumpy track surface well."
"These bumps, and the fact that Interlagos is one of the few left-hand circuits on the calendar, mean that it is quite physically demanding on the drivers. Being at altitude, the engine power and aerodynamic forces are down and it is important to have good top speed up the long climb out of the last corner and along the start-finish straight."
"We expect the performance of the Michelin tyres to be competitive here so we are looking forward to this last race of the season and will try hard to ensure that we can finish off with a strong performance to carry the momentum from a very successful 2004 over the winter in preparation for the 2005 championship."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"The Suzuka special engine ran well in Japan, and we had a positive test in Jerez, so we will be aiming to finish the season on a high at Interlagos."