Canadian GP: BAR race notes

The Canadian Grand Prix dealt a bitter blow to the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team today with retirements for both Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button. Jacques had made good progress early in the race and was looking good for a strong finish in...

The Canadian Grand Prix dealt a bitter blow to the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team today with retirements for both Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button. Jacques had made good progress early in the race and was looking good for a strong finish in front of his home crowd, however braking problems started to surface and he was forced to retire after just 14 laps when the team diagnosed a brake fluid leak. Jenson was lying in 10th position and making good headway towards a possible points-finish when he was forced to retire with gearbox failure.

Jenson Button

"This was always going to be a difficult race for me given my grid position. The car felt good early on but I was stuck in a lot of traffic for most of the first stint. I got more and more understeer in the low-speed corners and it was impossible to overtake. The second stint was much better because I had clean air and I was catching Panis and da Matta, but then I had a problem with fourth gear. I was trying to short-shift but gradually I lost fifth then sixth then seventh. It's a very disappointing end to a difficult weekend for the team. We had an improved package for this race and we were hopeful of better things, so I don't really know what happened here."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"Obviously it's very disappointing to face yet another retirement. I had a good start and I'd moved up to ninth. The car felt really good and it was well-balanced, so it's a shame because we could easily have picked up some points today. Gradually I started to lose my brakes and the pedal was getting longer and longer. I came in for my pitstop and the team tried to pinpoint the problem and cool the brakes. I went back out for a lap but I had to come in again because by that time I had nothing under braking."

"Sometimes only seven cars finish a race so the team tried to fix the problem. They started to replace the left rear caliper and stop the leak but it was clear that our race was over. I've had mechanical problems in six out of eight races so it's becoming very frustrating now but we just have to keep working hard. I've had a lot of support here this weekend and it would have been nice to at least finish in front of my home crowd."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"A frustrating weekend for the entire team and especially for Jacques at his home Grand Prix. In wet conditions we looked to be very competitive and, even with our poor qualifying result on Saturday, a solid race performance looked perfectly feasible. We now have to get to the bottom of the problems on both cars, which on the face of it look relatively easy to resolve and that is why it is so frustrating."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"This has been a very disappointing weekend for us, having underperformed in both qualifying sessions and with neither car finishing the race. Although we have been a lot more competitive during the practice sessions, our failure to convert this into a strong qualifying performance will be a matter for some consideration this week."

"After a reasonably good start, Jacques made good progress up to ninth place, but then he reported a long brake pedal which steadily worsened. We pitted him early to investigate the problem, but it was only as he pulled away from his first stop that we discovered brake fluid on the inside of the left-rear wheel rim. We pitted him again immediately and it was clear that we would be unable to rectify the problem within a sensible time, so unfortunately we were forced to retire the car."

"Jenson had a steady race, climbing up to 10th place. Shortly after his second stop, he reported that he had a problem shifting through fourth gear. As the problem steadily worsened through the lap, we decided to retire his car as well. It is now our priority to investigate and solve both problems before the next race. We are testing new aero and engine developments at Silverstone this week in preparation for the Nurburgring and we will continue to improve the car whilst also addressing our reliability problems."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"We had a really strong package here this weekend and I was looking forward to seeing the results. However, it was not to be. Today has been particularly tough on Jacques, being his home race, but it's also a shame that Jenson was forced out of the action. We'll be back fighting at the Nurburgring."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-03
Position: DNF (14 laps)

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-05
Position: DNF (51 laps)

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