BAR tech boss targets reliability

BAR's technical director Geoff Willis reckons the team will find reliability next season. The "concept car" they've been running in winter testing is an essential part of reversing the 2003 trend of Sunday retirements.

BAR tech boss targets reliability

"Reliability is the top priority for us for next season," said Willis. "The concept car gives us the opportunity to run the 2004 engine, gearbox and essentially all of the other complicated mechanical systems much earlier than would be the case if we waited for the 2004 chassis."

"It also allows us to evaluate a few other parts of the car such as the new hydraulics system in advance of waiting for the new car. By running those reliability-critical parts early it gives us the ability to release the 2004 car later.

"We can therefore spend more time on the performance development of the new car before setting anything in stone.

Jacques Villeneuve bore the brunt of the BAR luck last season. He retired from eight of his 15 races in 2003. Button got away with five retirements.



"We didn't have fundamental problems last year, but we did have reliability issues," continued Willis. "Strangely enough we were one of the most reliable teams on Friday and Saturday but then we'd get problems on Sunday.

"As a result we've really concentrated on procedures and getting on top of any faults much earlier in the process."

With the BAR 2004 car only scheduled to be launched in February, Willis would not rule out starting next year with the concept car.

"The probability is that we'll take the new car to Melbourne but we will review the situation nearer the time."

BAR's novel approach would be entirely opposed to that of McLaren, who are already testing their definitive 2004 car. Next year will reveal whether either of these unusual ideas will help the teams take a leap forward.

shares
comments
Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen
Previous article

Q & A with Heikki Kovalainen

Next article

Jerez 4: Ferrari reigns in wet

Jerez 4: Ferrari reigns in wet
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022