BAR misses out on maiden win

BAR boss David Richards claims that his team has no reason to be unhappy with its performance in the Italian Grand Prix - despite losing any chance of a maiden victory to the hard charging Ferrari team's 'shark attack'

BAR misses out on maiden win

Jenson Button drove brilliantly to grab the lead of the race from Renault's Fernando Alonso at the first round of pit-stops and he held off intense pressure from the pursuing cars to leave himself in contention for the win until well past the halfway point of the race.

But there was nothing he could do to withstand the supremacy of the two Ferrari F2004s as he was powerless to stop Rubens Barrichello keeping his lead after a final splash-and-dash stop and then losing second to Michael Schumacher just 11 laps from home. The pair had carved their way through the field after Barrichello was forced to make an early stop for dry tyres and Schumacher had spun on the opening lap.

Rather than being disappointed with the performance, however, Richards said that he was delighted with the third and fourth place finish for Button and team-mate Takuma Sato, which lifts the team to second overall in the constructors' championship.

"Halfway through the race you start dreaming and thinking where are those Ferraris, where are they going to come from," said Richards. "It's like a shark attack from behind - they suddenly leap out and there they are, at the front again.

"If you have a car that's that fast and a team that's that good then there's no disgrace to be second to Ferrari."

Button was certainly not disappointed with his eighth podium finish of the season, that leaves the team just three points ahead of Renault in the fight for runners up in the constructors' championships.

"We came very close to our first victory here but third and fourth for myself and Taku is amazing - and I dedicate this podium to the team who have done a great job all weekend," he said.

"I didn't think the Ferraris were going to be that strong from what we could see earlier in the race, but all credit to them for turning things around in the closing stages.

"We did a good job to get into third place by the first stops and we had a strong race, but unfortunately we were not as strong as the Ferraris. In the end I focused on looking after the tyres and extending the gap between myself and Alonso."

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