David Richards Q&A

For BAR the Australian GP represented a rollercoaster of emotions. First both cars suffered engine failures on Friday morning, and then in the afternoon, after just a couple of flying laps, Jacques Villeneuve was an astonishing third fastest - and this in the session where drivers ran traditional qualifying spec. He and Jenson Button were also quick on Saturday, but it all went wrong in the race, where radio communications problems saw Jacques pit a lap late and thus take a fuel load that was intended for his team mate.

David Richards Q&A

This effectively put both men out of the running, but even worse at neither of the first two stops did the team take the opportunity to fuel the cars up so that they could run long. An unnecessary extra stop left them stranded outside the points. Jacques also noted that his tyres didn't come in for 10 laps, so a longer run would have benefited him. Nevertheless, the car clearly has some potential this year. Adam Cooper spoke to team boss David Richards.



From where I stood it looked like a pretty exciting race, but I would honestly say that we're all far too close to it. You shouldn't ask drivers, you shouldn't ask the teams themselves, you need to ask the people in the grandstands. Hopefully there will be a resounding message from them that this is all positive. It's hard to tell, but we might have had a race like this without the rule changes. Nonetheless, we needed that positive message to come out, and this has just helped. Hopefully that bodes well for the rest of the season.



I suppose, at the end of it all, one part of me is disappointed. But I have to take home the fact that we were reliable, we showed the potential of how quick we are, but unfortunately given the tyre circumstances and the race itself we didn't turn that into a race performance. It's easy in hindsight to say could we have started on slicks, could we have taken better advantage of the safety car situation, but we didn't.



We've got very little time, and we did lose an awful lot of track time through the weekend. The lads worked through the night as well so it was a fairly hard and intense weekend for everybody. But I don't think that's the issue of how we made decisions during the weekend. We've just got to learn from it.



I'm not so sure, to be honest. The tyres that came here were decided after a test we did a couple of weeks ago, and the tyre that he was on was the same as the one Frentzen and Fisichella were on. So fundamentally I don't think he had the wrong tyre, I think we just weren't adventurous enough. We took a very engineering-led decision that said this, statistically, is the fastest strategy. If you actually add this up and this up and this up, this is what should happen. Sometimes you have to be a bit more intuitive and bit more adventurous.



Very quick, and he was quicker than Jacques through all the race. Obviously he was on a different tyre as such. You've also got to remember that we changed back to our winter-spec engines for the race, and the engines were considerably downgraded in performance for reliability. When we get the proper engines, we'll be looking good.



I think so. It's never going to be a bed of roses between any two team mates. There's always going to be friction. There was friction last year between Olivier and Jacques on occasion, and I'm sure there will be with these two.



I think we're starting to see it now. There are obvious benefits in terms of sharing information, and less secrecy. I think they have come to realise that even if they produce the best engine in the world, if they don't integrate it with our chassis...Each of us has to make compromises. We have to make compromises in certain areas of our chassis design to meet their requirements, and they will have to compromise in the engine design and power delivery, to make sure it gets the most out of our chassis. I think we're starting to work together quite effectively, but it doesn't happen overnight.

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