Richards: BAR Could Challenge Top Three in 2004

BAR boss David Richards says his outfit could challenge the top three teams next season if the Brackley-based squad continue making progress during the winter.

Richards: BAR Could Challenge Top Three in 2004

BAR boss David Richards says his outfit could challenge the top three teams next season if the Brackley-based squad continue making progress during the winter.

Richards, however, is under no illusions about the magnitude of the task ahead of them following another difficult season in 2003.

"No-one should delude themselves that there is not a big gap to make up," Richards told the BBC. "But if we can maintain the progress over the winter we can challenge the top three teams in 2004. When you look back on a season you tend to focus on the good points and the high spots of the year.

"But in reflecting on the year I have to really focus on our shortcomings and some of the reliability issues that we have to tackle. For each one there are good lessons that have been learnt on our side and Honda's side."

The Honda-powered team finished in fifth place in last season's Constructors' Championship, but failed to challenge for victories and never finished on the podium. Richards believes next year's regulations, with only one engine allowed per weekend, will help BAR move forward.

"Honda are working on the engine, the rules are changing, and I think they should favour us, so I look forward to next year with great enthusiasm," he added. "We never expected this to be an easy challenge and I think this year just serves to reinforce that."

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