French GP: BAR race notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve just missed out on a points-finish in today's French Grand Prix, driving a faultless race to take the chequered flag in ninth place. Jenson Button's race came to an abrupt end after 21 laps following a...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve just missed out on a points-finish in today's French Grand Prix, driving a faultless race to take the chequered flag in ninth place. Jenson Button's race came to an abrupt end after 21 laps following a fuel delivery problem at his first pit stop.

Jacques Villeneuve:

"The balance of the car was good today and the Honda engine worked well. Of course I am happy to have finished a race without any technical problems but ending up ninth is pretty frustrating. I am pleased with how the car has been working but the limiting factor was the tyres today and there's nothing more that we could do. I'm looking forward to Silverstone, where we hope to be more competitive."

Jenson Button:

"It's obviously very disappointing to retire from a race because of a problem like this. It's been a tough weekend but the team put the problems behind them and made the best of things. The race was going well; we were slow but the balance was good. I got a bit of oversteer after four or five laps but then the balance seemed to come back soon after. I was made aware by the team that there was a fuel delivery problem but then the car stopped out on track before I had time to make another pitstop. I'm looking forward to our home race in two weeks' time when I hope the development work we've been doing with the engine and aerodynamics will see us improving for the rest of the season."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"The best aspect of today's race for the team has been the reconfirmation of the strength of the B*A*R chassis and Honda engine relative to the other Bridgestone runners. The past few Grands Prix have not favoured our package, but I have no doubt that the pendulum will swing in the other direction in the coming races. For Silverstone we have another evolution of the Honda engine and a set of aero developments that should raise our perfomance."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Jacques drove an excellent race today pushing hard at every stage, and despite jumping ahead of Pizzonia at the last stop, unfortunately finished just out of the points. At Jenson's first stop the crew had a problem getting the fuel nozzle on to his car and had to revert to the other rig. However, due to an error, only a fraction of the fuel was delivered by this second rig, and during the time it took to reconcile the conflicting data, we were unable to pit Jenson in time to avoid him stopping out on the circuit."

"I would like to thank the crew for their performance all year, as pit-stops are one of our strengths, and this was an uncharacteristic problem which we will review in the calm light of day. Given the performance of our competitors' tyres it was always going to be difficult to score points here, but we look forward to our imminent Honda engine and aero upgrades, along with future tyre developments, to renew our battle for points."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Jacques did well to finish ninth having started 12th on the grid, but it's clearly frustrating to just miss out on points. It was obviously an exasperating afternoon for Jenson. We're all looking forward to a productive test in Barcelona next week and of course the team's home race at Silverstone, where we'll be working hard to give the local fans and all our staff a good result."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-3
Position: 9th
Best lap: 1:17.786

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Position: DNF (21 laps)
Best lap: 1:17.149

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto