Willis: 007 is an evolution

BAR-Honda's technical director Geoff Willis admitted at the launch of the new 007 chassis that the car is an evolution of last year's machine, which in the hands of Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, was Ferrari's most consistent challenger

Willis: 007 is an evolution

The new car is smaller than its predecessor and, thanks to an even closer relationship with Honda now that the Japanese manufacturer has bought 45 percent of the team, features more compact packaging of the engine and peripherals.

The most dramatic difference between the two cars is a front wing that features a deep scoop under the nose cone and heavily sculpted winglets towards the rear of the car. These are an attempt to channel more air over the rear wing, which is smaller because of the new aerodynamic regulations, and regain some of the lost downforce.

"I am delighted with the new 007," said Willis. "It is a logical next step
for the team, being both a refinement of last year's car concept as well as
having a number of significant new developments. With the stability of the technical team and the increasingly close relationship with Honda, we have been able to build a much better integrated installation of engine, chassis and transmission.

"The most challenging elements of the new Technical Regulations are in the areas of aerodynamics and engine. In both cases we have undertaken an extremely intensive development programme and extensive testing with the '05 Concept car.

Like many others in F1, Willis believes that the key to performance in F1 in 2005 will centre around the tyre war between Michelin and Bridgestone. With new regulations that state drivers must complete the race distance on one set of tyres, making them last the distance without significant drop-off will be key.

"We have been able to design the 007 specifically around the Michelin tyre characteristics as well as being able to drive the development programme for the demands of the new regulations.

"The underlying objective was to produce a car that can close the gap to Ferrari and deliver BAR-Honda its first race win. We are encouraged by what we have seen of our performance step so far but, as is always the case, we look forward to our real measure of success - the Australian Grand Prix in seven weeks' time."

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