Malaysian GP: BAR Friday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve finished 9th and 15th respectively in today's first qualifying for the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix. The running order for the session was dictated by the drivers' placings at the...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve finished 9th and 15th respectively in today's first qualifying for the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix. The running order for the session was dictated by the drivers' placings at the last race in Melbourne, so Jacques was 9th in line for his single lap run with Jenson following him out soon after in 10th. As the B*A*R cars left the garage, track temperatures had started to fall from a blistering 50C at the start of the session. Both drivers struggled with oversteer; Jenson conquered the car to deliver a top-10 finish while a mistake from Jacques lost him a full second in the last sector.

Jenson Button:

"The balance has changed quite a lot since this morning when I was struggling with too much understeer. I had a lot more oversteer this afternoon. We did some set-up changes to help the oversteer but it just seems to have got worse again. Maybe it's the circuit but it was quite snappy everywhere under braking. Considering the way the car was, I don't think the lap was too bad really. There's a lot to be gained which is positive and I'm sure we'll see an improvement tomorrow."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"The differential wasn't working properly this morning so we weren't really sure what the car balance was at the end of practice. We changed the car set-up and brakes for qualy so it was a little bit of an unknown. The car itself was quite quick, not as competitive as Melbourne though. I was trying hard and made a mistake in the last two corners and paid the price by having a slow lap."

David Richards, Team Principal

"We did a lot of good work this morning but the qualifying set-up gave far too much oversteer and neither driver was able to get the best out of the car. I'm very confident that the engineers will be able to address the balance issue overnight and the good news is there's still a lot of performance to come from the car."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director

"We had a reasonably productive morning. Everything went to plan on both cars and we achieved the longer runs, set-up work and tyre comparison that we needed. This afternoon, we didn't get the best out of either car and both drivers have been complaining about oversteer, but we should be able to overcome any issues and enjoy a positive day tomorrow. We're reasonably happy with what we have achieved today though."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Both drivers had a good session this morning and I'd hoped for better results this afternoon, but 9th and 15th isn't too bad. Our engines were in good shape throughout both sessions so I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow - when it really counts."


Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005/4
Position: 9th
Best lap time: 1:36.632


Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005/2
Position: 15th
Best lap time: 1:37.585

-bar-

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