Olivier Panis delivered an impressive performance at the Italian Grand Prix today and achieved a much-welcomed Championship point for the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda team. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve found himself with a much tougher job on his...
Olivier Panis delivered an impressive performance at the Italian Grand Prix today and achieved a much-welcomed Championship point for the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda team. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve found himself with a much tougher job on his hands in race trim and lost out when a heavy fuel load left him struggling for grip. He finished in 9th position.
Underpinning today's point-scoring performance was another excellent display of teamwork; from entry to exit Olivier Panis' second pitstop was the fastest of the race by more than a second and this was crucial to delivering him back on track into points contention. As a result, B.A.R secured a point in Monza for the third consecutive season today.
"I'm absolutely delighted to finish 6th today. To get a point after starting 16th on the grid is fantastic for us. It was a tough race with plenty of action but I took the risk of a two-stop strategy and it worked for me. I spoke with the team ahead of the race and said that I wanted to be able to attack and be part of the race. I got an amazing start and gained 7 places so I knew then I had the potential for a great result."
"I had a lot of fun out there today and was able to make the most of the overtaking opportunities. The pit stops worked well for us with the mechanics doing their usual fantastic job to make sure we got out ahead of Fisichella. I'm really pleased for the team. Every point counts and it is a very important result for us at this stage of the season. I'm really looking forward to Indianapolis now. Honda will have more of the latest specification engine and, as we've seen, it looks very promising in terms of performance and reliability for the last two races."
"This was a very disappointing race for me after such a good qualifying session yesterday. I didn't get a good start and I was stuck in the wrong part of the track with cars everywhere and lost places as a result. It was a tough call on strategy today and compared with most other times here we decided to try one stop. In the end, we were running too much wing and I couldn't get a good tow behind anyone down the straights. Congratulations to Olivier; he made the two-stop strategy work and got a well-deserved point out of it for the team."
David Richards, Team Principal
"A fantastic performance from Olivier today from 16th on the grid. He got a much better start than of late and maximised that advantage throughout the race to bring a hard-fought and much-welcomed point to the team. Jacques, on the other hand, found himself struggling for grip on a heavy fuel load so the one-stop strategy really didn't work in his favour today."
"This weekend has seen a further small but significant step forward for the team. All four Honda-powered cars finished the race and this, together with the improvement we've seen in terms of power and reliability, gives us great encouragement for the remaining two races."
Best lap time: 1:25.883 (Lap 46)
Best lap time: 1:25.335 (Lap15)