Mixed emotions for BAR

By any standards, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda made an encouraging start to the season in Melbourne. Jenson Button qualified on the second row of the grid and was the equal fastest Michelin runner on Saturday afternoon. Then the Englishman finished ...

By any standards, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda made an encouraging start to the season in Melbourne. Jenson Button qualified on the second row of the grid and was the equal fastest Michelin runner on Saturday afternoon. Then the Englishman finished sixth in the opening Grand Prix despite a last minute switch to the spare chassis. Takuma Sato also enjoyed a good run and posted a top ten finish in Australia.

Jenson Button.
Photo by Honda F1 Press Office.

However, B.A.R's ambitious technical director Geoffrey Willis wasn't completely satisfied. "It is a healthy sign for the team to feel disappointed with a two-car finish, a problem-free race both for engine and chassis with one car in the points," he said.

"Takuma damaged his front wing at the first corner, but did not realise how much it was hurting his performance. Once we saw the damage at the first stop we debated whether to bring him in early for his next stop and change the wing; it was structurally fine but aerodynamically compromised. Once it was changed he was able to run at a similar pace to Jenson and certainly without the problem would have finished in the points."

"Jenson raced well against the Williams, losing out to Ralf as a result of a small delay at the second pit stop and finally being passed by Montoya on lap 38. The timing of the first pit stops confirmed our strong qualifying pace. Clearly we need to work more on tyre preparation for the race stints and to identify where we are losing out to the top runners, but this is a solid start."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development echoed Willis' sentiments: "Overall this weekend was an encouraging start to the season. We're satisfied because both engines ran smoothly and the pit stop work was also very good. We need to keep pushing on with the development to further improve our performance throughout the year."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Williams