BAR on verge of runners-up spot

BAR boss David Richards believes that rival Renault faces a 'tall order' to beat his team to second place in the constructors' championship after it increased its advantage over the French car manufacturer in the title chase to a comfortable 16 points in the Japanese Grand Prix

Jenson Button and Takuma Sato's third and fourth placed finish in Japan, with Fernando Alonso only managing to come home fifth as Jacques Villeneuve flopped again, means that Renault needs to score a 1-3 finish in the season closing Brazilian Grand Prix, with Button and Sato out of the points, to secure the best-of-the-rest spot behind Ferrari.

Such a scenario is highly unlikely but Richards, who has helped transform the fortunes of BAR since joining it at the end of 2000, knows that strange things can happen in Formula 1.

However, he admits that it is unlikely that his team will be beaten. Speaking about Renault's chances he said: "It is a pretty tall order - because Renault need a win and a third place to pip us in Brazil. But we only have one more race to score that elusive win."

Although a 1-3 finish for Renault, with BAR failling to score, in the Brazilian GP would leave the two teams tied on points, Renault would take the second position thanks to the countback rule of which team has the most wins. It has one victory this year, Jarno Trulli's triumph in Monaco, while BAR's best results are all second places.

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