BAR Hopeful of 'Breakthrough'

BAR technical director Geoff Willis is confident that the team may be on the verge of making a breakthrough with the performance of its car after a disastrous start to the 2005 campaign

BAR Hopeful of 'Breakthrough'

Twelve months on from helping Jenson Button grab his first Formula 1 podium in Sepang, BAR has been left without a single point to its name following problems with both the pace and reliability of its Honda-powered BAR007 in the first two races of the season.

And to rub further salt in the team's wounds, it was on the receiving end of a major outburst from Button after his early exit from the Malaysian Grand Prix where he accused the outfit of having made 'a step backwards' in every area.

But despite the current problems, Willis is upbeat that new parts due to be tested at Paul Ricard in France this week will help alleviate the speed issues - even if more urgency is needed from Honda to resolve its current engine dramas.

"We have got a good handle on why the car is not doing what we want it to," said Willis. "We had a very good test in Jerez and we have nailed what could be a big gain.

"But there is no point in putting something on the car until we have signed it off in testing and know what it can do.

"We believe we know what's wrong and have found something to unlock the true potential of the car. And we can get things on the car pretty quickly if we want to."

BAR boss Nick Fry was apologetic about the Malaysia embarrassment after the race - where the engine failures suffered by Button and Anthony Davidson were attributed to oil leaks.

"I can only apologise to everyone, including the drivers, our fans and partners, that we were not able to make best use of a fast car and good strategy," he said. "However, we must now look forward, fully investigate the problem and I'm confident that, with the strength, skills and resources of BAR Honda, we can soon turn the situation around."

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