The overcast skies which prevailed in this morning's warm-up session gave way to bright sunshine in time for the start of the European Grand Prix. While the weather didn't play as much of a role as predicted, a much-anticipated first-corner...
The overcast skies which prevailed in this morning's warm-up session gave way to bright sunshine in time for the start of the European Grand Prix. While the weather didn't play as much of a role as predicted, a much-anticipated first-corner incident set the scene for an eventful race nonetheless. It was always going to be a tough challenge for Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda but Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve kept their heads down throughout and delivered a solid performance for the team. Olivier took the chequered flag in 9th position, achieving his second successive top-10 finish. Jacques did the best job he could from 19th place on the grid and drove a committed race to finish 12th.
"After warm-up this morning I said that points were possible but, in the end, the Nürburgring is a fast track and we didn't have the speed to do the job. I don't want to say I'm disappointed because I've finished the last two races in the top 10, so this definitely has to be seen as a progression. Before you can finish in the points, you have to be able to consistently make the top 10."
"I drove a hard race and I think the strategy I adopted proved to be the right one for me. I had a hard time trying to keep the two-stoppers behind me at the same time as trying to preserve my tyres, but the car stayed reliable under pressure and we got both cars to the finish. Today's race was always going to be difficult for us but we demonstrated a strong team performance and we have to take some encouragement from that. As always, we have to keep working hard and see what Silverstone will bring."
"I had a problem which started on the formation lap when I felt something strange with the car. Off the start, I went through the first two gears OK and then the engine bogged down. At the first corner, I had to step out to avoid Frentzen, who was trying to avoid the two Jordans, and both of these problems allowed other cars to pass me. I was stuck with the problem for a while and then it seemed to recover but maybe not fully. From 19th on the grid, this was always going to be a tough race. I think today we did the best job we could under the circumstances."
David Richards, Team Principal
"All in all, today's race saw a very competent effort from the whole team given our grid positions. Both cars remained reliable throughout so we must now take a good look at how we can improve our overall performance."
Jacques Villeneuve: BAR004/09
Best lap time: 1:34.809
Olivier Panis: BAR004/08
Best lap time: 1:34.609