San Marino GP: BAR race notes

Today's San Marino Grand Prix brought mixed fortunes for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda. The team are pleased to have secured points for the third successive race after Jenson Button crossed the line in 8th place. Jacques Villeneuve's race came to an ...

Today's San Marino Grand Prix brought mixed fortunes for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda. The team are pleased to have secured points for the third successive race after Jenson Button crossed the line in 8th place. Jacques Villeneuve's race came to an abrupt end after a fire at his first pit stop caused terminal damage to the car and he was forced to pull over after just 19 laps.

Jenson Button:

"It's good to get a point here but a little disappointing that we couldn't do better today. I got a little bogged down at the start behind Webber but then I pushed as hard as I could. I think we got everything right today in terms of strategy but we still finished a long way off the leaders. I think we've been able to demonstrate improving reliability but we just need a little more speed. We have an aero and engine upgrade for the next race, which we're testing in Mugello next week, so we should see a small step forward for Barcelona in two weeks' time."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"It's very disappointing not to finish the race here because things were looking good for us today. I had a problem changing down and then the engine stopped shortly after. I was quite surprised that so many people ran a three-stop strategy because we were on two stops and we were quite competitive. We've had a few problems recently and sadly they've been on my car, but it is encouraging that we are competitive. We just need to work on reliability now and make sure we don't keep missing out on good opportunities."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"Overall we were extremely competitive this weekend but when the leading three teams get all their cars to the finish, scoring a point is an achievement. If I compare our gap to the front of the field versus 12 months ago we've come a long way, and if we continue this level of improvement, the whole team must feel very positive for the future."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"This was a mixed result for us, with Jenson gaining another point but Jacques not finishing. There was a small fire at the first stop, and on the out-lap the engine stopped after the fire caused terminal damage to the wiring loom. Both cars were running a two-stop strategy but Jenson and Jacques were baulked by Webber's slow getaway and dropped behind slower runners. After Jacques' retirement, Jenson ran to plan to finish P8, although he struggled a little for pace in the last stint. The race history shows that we qualified with the same fuel load as the front row; this gives us further evidence that we have made substantial progress towards the front of the grid since last year."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Jenson drove hard today and this is the third race in a row that we've scored points, so that's encouraging. This wasn't a good race for us though. It was very unfortunate that Jacques had a problem and couldn't finish. I would also like to add that our thoughts are with Daijiro Kato's family at this very sad time."

Jacques Villeneuve
BAR Honda 005-2
Position: DNF (19 laps)
Best lap: time: 1:24.108

Jenson Button
BAR Honda 005-4
Position: 8th
Best lap time: 1:23.972

T-Car: BAR Honda 005-3

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