Weather brings mixed fortunes for BAR

The weather brought mixed fortunes for the BAR team in the first qualifying session for the European Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuve failed to set a time after aquaplaning off the track in torrential rain, but the rain helped Jenson Button to stay 11th despite the Briton breaking his front wing on a bollard on his flying lap

Villeneuve was one of the first runners to lap the track after the downpour started, and was forced to do so with few changes to his car, which was set up for dry conditions. As a result, he was virtually powerless to stop his car from going off the track.

"When I did my lap we were only allowed the change to wet tyres but the later runners were able to put on extreme wets," said Villeneuve. "Halfway round, the wheels weren't even touching the ground; I was just floating like a boat. Normally when you aquaplane it's only for a tenth of a second or something, but there it was all the way down.

"We have to just keep working on the car as best we can and hope that the weather turns the same way as it did today. Our tyres aren't competitive here so that's the best we can hope for tomorrow."

Button confessed that he made a mistake on his lap, and was ultimately saved by the weather. "I hit the kerb too hard, then the bollard broke the front wing," he said. "I'm not particularly pleased with myself. Having said that we've seen before that bollards don't work and several people had the same problem as me today.

"I was lucky in the sense that it was only spitting with rain when I did my lap, whereas it was starting to come down hard by the time the last six or seven runners went out."

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