BAR Open Account 10 Races Late

BAR started their Formula One season at the halfway point on Sunday with Briton Jenson Button finally opening the team's scoring tally in France

BAR Open Account 10 Races Late

"It's a fantastic result for us," said Button of his fourth place in the 10th race of the 19-round Championship.

"A lot of people might not think fourth is a great finish but it is at the moment. To get those points and fight so hard for it, it's a great day for us.

"It's been a tough year so it's nice for everyone to get some points on the board. It's not picking up one or two. We got five today so its a nice start to our season," he told reporters.

Team boss Nick Fry agreed: "At least we've got that monkey off our back in that we're not on zero anymore.

"It's been a little bit embarrassing to be on zero and now we're not on zero, which is good, but we are still looking for podiums and eventually a win."

BAR were overall runners-up to Ferrari last year but 2005 has brought continual trouble with Button disqualified from third place in the San Marino Grand Prix in April and the team then suspended for two races for breaking the rules on weight and fuel.

Fry praised Button's polished performance, perfectly timed before next weekend's British Grand Prix, but said the Honda-powered team still had a long way to go.

Getting Closer

"We're still not quick enough but we're getting closer and we'll continue to push as hard as we can," he said. "We'll push forward from here and hopefully start overtaking some of our competitors in the Constructors' Championship."

While Button got it right, his Japanese teammate Takuma Sato finished 11th after a botched attempt to overtake Toyota's Jarno Trulli sent him skidding across the gravel and cost him four places.

Sato had earlier pulled off an impressive pass on Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, however.

"Taku obviously did a great job by overtaking Rubens but it didn't quite come off trying to overtake Trulli," said Fry.

"The speed trap times are remarkable. The speed trap (at that point) is in fact just before the braking point and the normal speed to go through that is 160kph.

"He went through it at 202 kph so he was ambitious in the extreme, but that's Taku."

Fry said BAR, knowing they had nothing to lose, had encouraged both drivers to overtake wherever possible.

"Clearly we don't want it to happen every time and it would be nice to get some points with the second car as well but that's Taku's fighting spirit," he said.

"We want the fighting spirit but he's got to stay on the track as well."

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Series Formula 1
Author Alan Baldwin
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