Panis believes BAR can challenge F1 big guns

Olivier Panis, who ended the fourth and final day of Jerez testing fastest overall, says he believes his BAR-Honda can be developed into a car to challenge the McLaren/Ferrari domination of Formula 1.

Panis believes BAR can challenge F1 big guns

In only his third day of running for the team, the Frenchman pipped Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello into second and McLaren's David Coulthard into third during dry weather running in the first half of today's (Thursday's) test at the Spanish track. Rain in the afternoon meant no further representative times could be posted.

Panis, the winner of the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, signed for BAR after a 2000 season spent as test driver for McLaren-Mercedes.

"I'm very surprised by how it's all gone," he said. "The car's got a good baseline to build on, and I know exactly what a good car is after testing for McLaren this year. This can be a car to challenge McLaren."

BAR will continue its testing programme at Valencia next week, before heading to Barcelona for leg three of Bridgestone's Iberian tour.

For full details from day four of Jerez Formula 1 testing click here.

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Jerez day 4: Panis on top as rain wraps things up

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