Willis Defends BAR Reliability

BAR-Honda technical director Geoff Willis says his BAR 005 machine is not fundamentally unreliable despite complaints over its constant failures from race driver Jacques Villeneuve.

Willis Defends BAR Reliability

BAR-Honda technical director Geoff Willis says his BAR 005 machine is not fundamentally unreliable despite complaints over its constant failures from race driver Jacques Villeneuve.

Canadian Villeneuve has failed to start one race this year because of a technical problem and he has posted two other retirements in five races after suffering most of the team's unreliability on his car. But Willis remains unconcerned by the problems and said: "It is not a fundamentally unreliable car, although we have certainly let ourselves down with reliability.

"It is always very difficult. Each individual area we have a problem in turns out to be unrelated to anything else we have had, we just need to be extra careful everywhere."

BAR-Honda have experienced both highs and lows this year, with Briton Jenson Button claiming his best Grand Prix finish for the team with fourth place in Austria at the last race. Although Villeneuve has constantly hit problems, Willis believes the baseline the team have this year, once the reliability issues are sorted out, will serve them well for the future.

"Generally it has worked quite well," Willis said in Monte Carlo. "It has been a rebuilding year for the team and it is a good solid car to work from and we are steadily making progress. Honda have been making very big steps with the engine almost every race. We have a step in power and the reliability is good.

"The most important thing to do is to have a progress relative to the field. As long as you are improving relatively to everyone else through the season and year on year then eventually you will get to a good competitive level and hopefully we can do that."

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