BAR's Press Releases
27-29 September 2002
FREE PRACTICE - Friday 27 September
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 5th
Best lap time: 1:15.035 (40 laps)
"We got off to quite a slow start today because the track was still
drying at the beginning of the session. The infield section here is
hardly used so the asphalt is always very slippery. We were struggling
to find rear grip throughout the session but we did quite a few runs to
try different things and basically just worked through the problem. I
managed to get one good lap on new tyres before it got too slippery.
Last year's race wasn't very good for us so I'm pleased we've got off
to a good start today. During the last few races we've frequently
been the best of the Bridgestone runners after Ferrari and our
qualifying has been improving so let's hope we can carry today's
progress through to the race on Sunday."
Olivier Panis Position: 18th
Best lap time: 1:15.941 (34 laps)
"During both sessions I suffered from massive oversteer. We tried to
find different solutions but nothing seemed to work. I think we will
have to strip the car down completely in order to see if we don't have
a more fundamental problem that we cannot see on the data. I think
there is a lot of work to be done this afternoon."
David Richards, Team Principal
"Jacques had a very positive session so our main concern is getting the
best out of Olivier's car for tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do
this afternoon to find the problem and try to bring him higher up the
grid in the qualifying session."
QUALIFYING - Saturday 28 September
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis
qualified 7th and 12th respectively in Indianapolis today ahead of
tomorrow's 2002 United States Grand Prix. Jacques' day had started
with a problematic free practice but was transformed after a steady
improvement throughout qualifying which saw him secure his best grid
position of the season. Olivier was unable to improve on a difficult
start to his weekend, losing his two fastest runs to problems with
traffic and oversteer.
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 7th
Best lap time: 1:11.738 (12 laps)
"I'm very pleased with 7th. After yesterday's session I felt we had
the potential to make the top 10 but we had a mechanical problem this
morning which cost me practice time and I really didn't get enough
running to feel too confident about qualifying. As it turned out, the
car felt good from the start. We made changes with every run and
steadily improved throughout the session. It looks like oversteer is
going to be a big problem for a lot of drivers tomorrow though. The
asphalt characteristic causes you to slide a lot and you use up all the
grip very quickly, so we've got a lot of work to do on race set-up to
make sure the tyres don't 'go away'. I don't know what kind of race it
will be but I'll try hard and hopefully get into the points at the end
Olivier Panis Position: 12th
Best lap time: 1:12.161 (9 laps)
"The tyres reacted differently in each of my runs this afternoon. I
had major oversteer on my first run but I improved a lot on my second.
Then I would have gone quicker again on my third run had I not been
blocked on my quick lap. However, considering how the car has been all
weekend, I can consider myself lucky to qualify 12th today."
David Richards, Team Principal
"Jacques did a great job to qualify 7th today after a difficult
practice this morning. He steadily improved throughout the session and
starts tomorrow's race from his best grid position this season.
Olivier was less lucky. His session started well but he lost out to
traffic and suffered with major oversteer on his quickest runs. We
still have some work to do to optimise our race set-up but we have a
very good chance of securing another points finish tomorrow."
RACE - Sunday 29 September
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda finished in the points for the second
successive race in Indianapolis today where Jacques Villeneuve secured
a crucial Championship point for the team. He sensed a top-6 finish
was achievable from the off after a clash between the two Williams cars
promoted him to 6th at the end of the opening lap. Jacques remained
consistent and aggressive throughout the 73-lap race with a performance
that always looked worthy of a points finish. Olivier's weekend never
really recovered from a difficult start and after a slow getaway from
the grid, he made the best of the situation to finish 12th today.
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 6th Best lap time: 1:13.848
"The team did a great job today, as they have all weekend. We picked
up a very important point and really made the best of things in the
race. I had been quite worried about grip so the tyres really dictated
a two-stop strategy today. We made a few changes after warm-up this
morning to try to counter any problems and the car actually worked well
in the race. The track picked up grip but it was tough going for the
first 6-10 laps after the pitstops. Once the fuel went down the tyres
actually got better so it was easy to do some quick laps. We've been
quite competitive here this weekend; I could drive the car aggressively
and overtake. A good showing here means we should be better off in
Suzuka so I'm optimistic about a good finish to the season."
Olivier Panis Position: 12th Best lap time: 1:14.263
"Looking on the positive side I have to say 'Congratulations' to
Jacques. He drove a hard race to finish 6th and secured a very
important point for the team. On the other hand, this has been a
disappointing end to a difficult weekend for me. I had a very bad
start and lost places into the first corner then had to follow slower
cars until the first pitstop. We then suspected a mechanical problem
and I couldn't really push as hard as I needed to, so I pitted early
for my second stop. After that, we seemed to get over the problem and
I could start pushing again but it was always going to be a struggle to
recover. I have to put this weekend behind me now and hope for better
things in Japan."
David Richards, Team Principal
"It's been a very positive weekend all round with Jacques making the
very best of the car and the team doing a great job for him.
Unfortunately it was a different story for Olivier. He suffered from a
series of problems on Friday and, although there were occasions where
he was able to show his true pace, I'm sure it's a weekend he'd rather
put behind him. One extra point moves us one place further forward in
the Championship and with the continued improvements that Honda are
making, I'm very hopeful of a strong finish to the season in Suzuka."