David Richards Q&A

While most eyes are on the front of the F1 grid an exciting situation has developed further back. BAR, Jaguar, Toyota, Jordan and Sauber are all in contention for fifth place in the constructors' championship, with just one point separating the top three. A huge amount of kudos is at stake for the manufacturers involved, especially as the order determines the pit garage line-up next season. BAR is in front at the moment, but with three races to go anything can happen. The team has also yet to reveal who its second driver will be. While many think that Honda protégé Takuma Sato has long been set to get the job, some elements in the camp might have other ideas. Will Jacques Villeneuve hang on to the seat, or will another driver enter the equation? Adam Cooper asked team boss David Richards for his thoughts on the team's progress and the current tyre controversy

David Richards Q&A



"Clearly the regulations aren't right that allow a situation to occur where there is a significant advantage to be had by interpreting the rules. And that needs tidying up. We can't let this year's championship be decided by an anomaly like that, either, so hopefully Michelin will address it and we can have a clean fight to the finish."



"I don't see that there's anything that's wrong with the way it came into the public domain. It's like anything - you can't do anything about it until you're aware of its existence. I think if you look back many technical failings have gone unnoticed for a period of time until they suddenly came to light, and that's the process that we have."



"I think very much so. They're certainly in the wrong as the way the regulations are now. Whether the regulations are in fact right for the long term is something that needs addressing properly, whether we actually we need a width of tread regulation at all. Why don't we have a dimensional regulation of the width of tyre as a whole, and that would be it."



"I don't think so in the slightest. What we're doing now is putting everything on a level playing field, and we'll have a fight to the finish between three or potentially four drivers."



"We've done some good testing down in Monza last week. Certainly if it were to rain we feel very confident about the rain tyre we've got, and we've been pleasantly surprised by the regular testing at Monza, so I don't think it's all over for us yet."



"Indy is probably less favourable towards us than Suzuka. Nonetheless this battle for fifth is as hard-fought as the battle for first at the moment!"



"I guess so. But there's huge pressure everywhere. We set our goals, and that's what we've got to set out to achieve now."



"It would. And it's often potentially determined by other people having problems as well. That's the irony. However good we are, if the top few cars are reliable they're going to sweep up all the points, and if some incident happens at the front it's going to be who's made the best of the day on that occasion. It'll be very close."



"I've said very clearly I'm not going to be drawn into conjecture on it or anything. When the time is right, I'll announce what our decision's going to be, and that's likely to be later in the year."



"There's no time scale. Clearly I have to have the matter resolved before the first race of next season! We will determine the time scale and not let outside pressures determine it for us."



"At the moment with all the top seats filled our second seat must be one of the most appealing places left on the grid for next year."



"Jacques has been working very hard for us. All credit to him, he has put in an awful lot of effort in the last few months, and I think it's recognised within the team as well."



"Life's all bliss again now! He can get back to normal again. He's had a week at home so he can turn up at Monza and be in good form..."

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