BAR clinches second place

BAR-Honda clinched second place in the constructors' championship thanks to Takuma Sato's sixth place finish, and the Renault team's failure to place first and second in the final Formula 1 race of the year in Brazil. Jenson Button had been aiming to close the season out with a victory but stopped early with a blown engine (Click HERE for separate story)

BAR clinches second place

The result capped an extraordinary season for BAR, which comprised 11 podium finishes on its way to 119 points, placing it above Renault, Williams, McLaren and Sauber in the table. And although there were no victories, the team was by far the most consistent Michelin performer through 2004 with its rapid Geoff Willis-designed 006. It marked one of the most spectacular improvements in form of any team in recent history - last year BAR finished fifth in the table and scored 26 points.

"Today we can celebrate BAR's fantastic season and securing second place in the championship," said team principal David Richards afterwards. "In itself the race was rather disappointing, but we came here with the primary goal of containing any threat from Renault, and we achieved it.

"At the start of the year we set ourselves the objective of challenging the top three teams, and I think that now we have earned our place alongside the established elite. Jenson, Taku and Anthony [Davidson] have performed brilliantly all year, and third and eighth in the drivers' championship is just reward."

A tall order it may have been for Renault to finish 1-2, but early in the rain-hit race Renault's decision to start its drivers Fernando Alonso and Jacques Villeneuve on slicks looked to have paid off as the Spaniard stole an early lead and the Canadian stormed through the field. But as the track dried out, so the R24's pace disappeared and Alonso could manage no better than fourth in the end.

"The choice to start on dry tyres was really a big risk: the car was very hard to drive and I went off on the formation lap and the first lap!" said Alonso. "However, it gradually got better and I managed to take the lead, but after the first stop, I didn't have the pace to get on the podium. The car was understeering badly because of the graining during the second stint then we took a risk in leaving the tyres on.

"This meant I ultimately lost more grip but in spite of the problems, I attacked 100 percent all the way through, kept the other cars behind and thanks to that, I am fourth in the drivers' championship. That was my main goal today and I am delighted to have achieved it."

Villeneuve, drafted in to replace Jarno Trulli by the French team three races ago in an attempt to save second place in the contructors' race, perhaps failed to show the pace expected of him in China and Japan, but in Brazil his 10th place result belied a far more competitive performance.

"I think my race pace was actually very good today," said the 1997 world champion. "I was behind Fernando in the first laps and it would have been too much of a risk to try overtaking in the conditions. I lost time when the track was wet but after that, I feel we were quite quick in the second and third stints.

"I didn't manage to score any points at Renault but I think my performances got better and better with each race. It was very tough to adapt."

shares
comments
Post-Race Press Conference - Brazilian GP
Previous article

Post-Race Press Conference - Brazilian GP

Next article

Cost Cutting Proposal is Too Late, Says Mosley

Cost Cutting Proposal is Too Late, Says Mosley
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023