BAR unleashes 2005 concept car

BAR-Honda has introduced a new hybrid chassis for the first winter test at Barcelona, which it calls the '05 Concept Car. The new car features an early version of Honda's 2005 engine, gearbox and rear suspension mated to the front-end of the team's successful 006 chassis from the 2004 season

BAR unleashes 2005 concept car

BAR did a similar thing last winter, and Jenson Button frequently blew away the opposition in testing during the build-up to the 2004 season. The team only has only one of the hybrid chassis at the test but has plans to build a second car - although it is unlikely to be completed before Christmas.

"This week's programme at Barcelona is the start of our 2005 season," said the team's technical director Geoff Willis. "As was the case last year, the purpose of the '05 Concept Car is to evaluate the performance and reliability of our new Honda engine, the transmission and rear-end systems.

"This time, many of the reliability-critical systems are exactly those which will be used for the 007 car. Whilst the 2004 chassis was extremely reliable, we want to improve. We are planning a further increase in testing over and above the level we ran in the winter of 2003 to 2004."

BAR's test driver Enrique Bernoldi gave the car its initial shakedown at Barcelona on Wednesday morning and will continue to gather data on the car until handing it over to team leader Jenson Button on Friday.

The Englishman, who finished third in the world championship, will spend Wednesday and Thursday running in an 006 chassis evaluating Michelin tyres. Team-mate Takuma Sato will also join the test on Friday.

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