Image credits: © BAR.
2003 BAR 005
BAR entered Formula One in 1999 and their first season was dismal. Since that time they had been able to secure a prominent relationship with Honda and their primary driver, Jacques Villeneuve, had been with them since the beginning, in 1999. They had had several secondary drivers and this year was no different. Jenson Button joined the team and drove alongside the former World Champion, Villeneuve. Button was just twenty-two years old and had been in the F1 sport for the past three years.
The Bar/Honda 003 was introduced in Barcelona, Spain and was carried high expectations for the team. The chassis of the car was made lighter due to new internal bulkheads but still complied with FIA crash test requirements. Many of the parts had been made more compact and reduced in size; the team refined their processes in an effort make the components lighter. The gearbox was a completely new unit with the main-case being constructed of an aluminum casting.
Honda became the teams exclusive supplier of engines. The RA003e V10 was lighter and smaller with an increase in horsepower and torque. The tires used were Bridgestone's and the team worked closely with the supplier to ensure that they had the best possible tires for the racer.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
The team finished the season with 26 points and fifth in the Constructions Championship. Jenson Button finish in 9th with 17 points, Villeneuve had six points and finish in 16th place. Takuma Sato earned three points and finished in 18th place.
Honda Races to Fourth and Sixth at SuzukaButton and Sato cross the line fourth and sixth in Japanese Grand Prix
Lucky Strike BAR Honda's Jenson Button crossed the line fourth at the Japanese Grand Prix while teammate Takuma Sato finished sixth on his race debut with the team. Today's result secured fifth place in the constructors' championship for BAR Honda with 26 points.
The overcast weather continued at Suzuka and rain seemed possible as the drivers lined up on the grid for the last time this season in preparation for the 53-lap race, the air and track temperatures registering 21 and 23 degrees.
Button moved up one position to eighth off the grid and inherited seventh on lap nine due to the retirement of Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams. By lap 12 the Briton was running in second place as the front-runners started to pit. Three laps later the BAR Honda driver pitted from first place for his first of two scheduled stops (8.5 seconds), rejoining in sixth place between the Toyotas of Cristiano Da Matta and Olivier Panis.
Button improved to fifth on lap 18 when the engine in Alonso's Renault let go and by lap 25 was up into third place as the second round of pit stops commenced. Lap 33 saw the Briton's second scheduled stop for fuel and tyres (9.5 seconds). Having rejoined in seventh, Button continued to set consistently quick lap times and was running in fourth position by lap 38 when the Schumacher brothers and Da Matta pitted for the third time. The Honda-powered driver held off Renault's Jarno Trulli and pushed hard for the final 15 laps to cross the line fourth, scoring five valuable championship points for himself and the team.
Sato made a great start and moved up two places to 11th off the grid, holding off Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and on lap two diving past Jaguar's Justin Wilson for tenth position. Having got past the second Jaguar of Mark Webber on lap four, Sato was hit from behind by Schumacher on lap six. Fortunately Sato's car wasn't damaged but Schumacher was relegated to 19th after pitting for repairs.
The 26-year-old Japanese driver was running in second place by lap 12 behind teammate Jenson Button, due to Montoya's exit and the front-runners pitting. Sato came in for his first stop on lap 14 (8.5 seconds), rejoining in tenth position ahead of Ralf Schumacher. By lap 21 the BAR Honda driver was in eighth place as Alonso retired and Webber pitted. The Schumacher brothers hounded Sato for four laps before pitting on lap 24, along with Da Matta and Panis, moving the Honda-powered driver up into sixth position.
Following his second and final pit stop on lap 32 (9.9 seconds) Sato rejoined the action in tenth place and seven laps later had made his way back up in to sixth position due to the pit stops of Michael and Ralf Schumacher and the Toyota duo, the two-stop strategy clearly paying off for both Button and Sato. The Japanese driver continued to impress for the final 14 laps and brought his BAR Honda 005 home in sixth place, having started 13th on the grid, scoring three points and helping the team secure fifth place in the championship.
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello won the eventful race, followed by the McLaren pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard. BAR Honda's Button, Renault's Trulli and BAR Honda's Sato finished fourth, fifth and sixth while the Toyota of da Matta and Ferrari of Michael Schumacher took the final two point scoring positions.
Michael Schumacher's eighth place finish was enough to clinch the drivers' championship for the German with 93 points and the constructors' championship for Ferrari with 158 points. Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
'A great way to end the season, especially in front of our home crowd. Both our guys were really strong out there and our strategy worked perfectly. Jenson pushed hard and showed good pace throughout the race and Taku coped brilliantly with the pressure of a home debut. I'm also very pleased that we secured fifth in the constructors' championship today. The car worked really well and the boys did a great job on all the stops. I want to use this as a springboard for next season.' Jenson Button 4th
'That was incredible! We came here fighting for two points and came away with eight, which is just amazing. We really deserved this result today and to finally secure fifth place in the championship is a great way for the team to finish the season.
'It was a very tough race though. I got a great start and took Webber on the outside, which was very important for us at that stage as we didn't know what strategy they were running. I had two perfect pit stops and after that it was just a question of conserving everything and staying as consistent as possible, because it's hard to keep your concentration here. It was nice to lead the race again for the second race in a row - even if it was only briefly on this occasion.
'Takuma has been under a lot of pressure all weekend and he rose above it. I'd like to thank Honda for a fantastic race engine and all the race team for a great job this weekend, especially in the pit stops today. I'd also like to pay tribute to the team back at base for sticking with it during a very difficult year. This is a great boost for all of us for the winter.' Takuma Sato 6th
'I'm absolutely thrilled. Racing here this weekend came as a total surprise but to finish sixth and play a part in securing fifth place in the championship is just amazing. And all in front of my home crowd! I made a great start and jumped two places off the grid, then I managed to pass Wilson and Webber, which was important for the team. I had a close call with Michael in the chicane, but I had the line and he came up on the inside of me. This is a great way to start my racing career with BAR and now I can't wait for the start of the next season. I'd like to thank everyone from the team and Honda for making my return to racing so successful.'Source - Honda
Formula One World Championship Round 9: European Grand PrixHonda Finish Seventh, Score Two More Points
Button crosses the line seventh, Villeneuve retires on lap 54
Lucky Strike BAR Honda's Jenson Button crossed the line seventh at the European Grand Prix scoring two points and moving the team up into fifth in the constructors' championship, while teammate Jacques Villeneuve's race was over on lap 54 due to gearbox failure.
The drivers were greeted by warm temperatures and partly cloudy skies (air 25 degrees, track 30 degrees) at the Nurburgring for the 60-lap race. Button made up one place to 11th at the start and moved up into tenth on lap 11 when Olivier Panis (Toyota) locked his wheels and spun off. The Briton came in for his first of two scheduled stops on lap 15, pulling into the box just as his teammate left the pit lane. Button rejoined in 11th place and made his way up to eighth by lap 27 as Nick Heidfeld (Sauber) and Cristiano DaMatta (Toyota) pitted and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen retired from the action.
Lap 37 saw Button pit for his second scheduled stop, rejoining in tenth place behind Jaguar's Mark Webber, and by lap 42 the BAR Honda driver was back in eighth position as both Panis and Renault's Jarno Trulli exited the race. Button continued to push hard and just three laps from the end moved up into seventh when McLaren's David Coulthard spun off while trying to pass Fernando Alonso (Renault). Having qualified in 12th position, Button crossed the line in a points-scoring seventh place, lifting the team into fifth place in the constructors' championship.
Jacques Villeneuve did not have a good start and fell back two places off the grid to 19th. After making his way into 17th place by the end of lap nine, the Canadian made a mistake and spun at turn two. He managed to get his BAR Honda 005 back on track and by lap 13 he was up to 17th position. On lap 14 he hit a cone at one of the chicanes and had to pit for a new nose, fuel and tyres, moments before Button was scheduled to come in.
The team worked incredibly fast to get Villeneuve back out on track in time to receive Button, and the Canadian rejoined the action in 20th position. By lap 40 Villeneuve was running in 15th due to the retirements of Trulli and Panis and the pit stops of the Minardi duo. The BAR Honda driver looked set to cross the line 15th when, just six laps from the end, it was all over as he parked his car at turn six with gearbox failure.
It was a Williams one-two for Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya at the Nurburgring, followed by Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and Mark Webber finished fifth and sixth while Jenson Button crossed the line seventh. The final point-scoring position was taken by Nick Heidfeld. Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
'Jenson drove a good race and I'm pleased the team is back to points-scoring form. We're encouraged by the overall performance of our engine this weekend and look forward to being fully able to demonstrate its capacity at Magny-Cours. Jacques obviously had a hard day. I hope he'll be back refreshed in France next weekend.' Jenson Button Position: 7th
'I'm very happy to finish where we did because we weren't really on the pace at all today. The start was poor and there must have been a 30-metre gap between me and the guys in front, but I caught up at the first corner and managed to get past Webber in the process. I was really struggling with oversteer and I had to take it really easy on the first couple of stints to conserve the tyres, otherwise it would just have been oversteer all the way. It's been a tough old weekend here so I'm pleased we were able to get a couple of points into the bargain because the boys deserve a bit of a boost. Their work in the pits today was incredible with Jacques and I in on the same lap. I hope we can all expect something more in Magny-Cours next weekend.' Jacques Villeneuve Position: DNF
'I'm pleased to see the end of a very bad weekend. Once we got going the pace wasn't too bad, but it was hard to be stuck behind the Minardis. I made a couple of mistakes as well and I was lucky to recover from my spin in the chicane. Just as it looked as if I was at least going to be able to finish the race, second gear broke and it was over. I guess we just have to hope for a better weekend in Magny-Cours now.' Geoffrey Willis - Technical Director, BAR
'This has been a difficult weekend for the team so it is very good to finish with two more points. Jenson drove a solid race, particularly resisting the pressure of those behind him during the middle stint of the race. A great deal of credit must go to the pit crew today; they did an excellent job to change Jacques' nose in record time and get him out before Jenson came in on a scheduled stop just 10 seconds later. Jacques had a fairly dismal race; he started poorly and dropped to 19th, then had to fight his way past the Minardis. A subsequent mistake at the chicane saw him damage the front wing and finally his race came to an early conclusion with a second-gear failure, the cause of which will now be investigated.'Source - Honda
Formula One World Championship Round 10: French Grand PrixHONDA DRIVER FINISHES NINTH AT MAGNY-COÚRS
Villeneuve crosses the line ninth, Button retires on lap 21
Lucky Strike BAR Honda's Jacques Villeneuve was ninth at the French Grand Prix, just missing out on a points finish, while teammate Jenson Button's race was over on lap 21 when his car ran out of fuel due to a problem with the fuel rig during his first pit stop.
The weather remained warm but fairly cloudy at Magny-Cours (air 24 degrees, track 29 degrees) for the start of the 70-lap race. Villeneuve held 12th position off the grid but moved up into 11th on lap two as Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello spun off the track and rejoined at the back of the pack. By the 15th lap Villeneuve was running in eighth place as the first round of pit stops got underway.
The Canadian came in for his first of three scheduled pit stops on lap 18, rejoining in 14th position and then climbing to ninth place by lap 36. One lap later the BAR Honda driver pitted for fuel and tyres and was back out on track in 13th position. Villeneuve was running in ninth place by lap 54 and, after a quick and tidy stop, rejoined the field in the same position behind Toyota's Olivier Panis. With 15 laps remaining a points finish was in sight for the Canadian, but he couldn't reel in former teammate Panis and went on to cross the line ninth, having started 12th on the grid.
Jenson Button made up one place to 13th at the start and moved up into 12th position on lap two due to Barrichello's spin. The Briton fought his way up to ninth place during the first round of pit stops and came in for his first scheduled stop on lap 17. The first pit stop sequence was completed by lap 20 and Button now found himself running in 12th position again. A problem with the fuel rig, however, meant he didn't take on the correct amount of fuel during his stop, and the BAR Honda 005 ran out of fuel on lap 21.
It was another Williams one-two for Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya at the Circuit de Nevers, followed by Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. David Coulthard in the second McLaren and Mark Webber of Jaguar finished fifth and sixth while Barrichello and Panis crossed the line seventh and eighth. Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
'Jacques did well to finish ninth having started 12th on the grid, but it's clearly frustrating to just miss out on points. It was obviously an exasperating afternoon for Jenson. We're all looking forward to a productive test in Barcelona next week and of course the team's home race at Silverstone, where we'll be working hard to give the local fans and all our staff a good result.' Jacques Villeneuve Position: 9th
'The balance of the car was good today and the Honda engine worked well. Of course I am happy to have finished a race without any technical problems but ending up ninth is pretty frustrating. I am pleased with how the car has been working but the limiting factor was the tyres today and there's nothing more that we could do. I'm looking forward to Silverstone, where we hope to be more competitive.' Jenson Button Position: DNF
'It's obviously very disappointing to retire from a race because of a problem like this. It's been a tough weekend but the team put the problems behind them and made the best of things. The race was going well; we were slow but the balance was good. I got a bit of oversteer after four or five laps but then the balance seemed to come back soon after. I was made aware by the team that there was a fuel delivery problem but then the car stopped out on track before I had time to make another pitstop. I'm looking forward to our home race in two weeks' time when I hope the development work we've been doing with the engine and aerodynamics will see us improving for the rest of the season.'Source - Honda
Formula One World Championship Round 7 Round 7: Monaco Grand PrixÚnfulfilled Potential for Honda in Monaco
Villeneuve retires on lap 64 while Button misses race
Lucky Strike BAR Honda's Jacques Villeneuve retired from the Monaco Grand Prix on lap 65, while the team decided to withdraw Jenson Button from the race following his heavy crash in yesterday's free practice session.
Glorious sunshine and blue skies prevailed (air 25 degrees, track 33 degrees) as the 78-lap race got underway. Villeneuve got off the grid smoothly but dropped back two places to 13th and tucked in behind Nick Heidfeld of Sauber. Seconds later the safety car was deployed as the second Sauber of Heinz-Harald Frentzen crashed out of the race. The cars began racing again on lap four when the safety car returned to the pits and by lap 14 Villeneuve had moved up into 12th position as Jaguar's Mark Webber came into the pits.
The first of the two-stoppers came in on lap 21, but Villeneuve opted to stay out for a longer first stint and carved his way through the field, moving up into ninth place by lap 25. Five laps later the Canadian pitted from ninth place and rejoined in the same position, ahead of Toyota's Cristiano Da Matta.
Villeneuve had a strong second stint and put in some competitive lap times, showing the potential of his BAR Honda 005. He came in for his second scheduled pit stop on lap 54 and rejoined in tenth place behind the Jordan of Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian pitted a couple of laps later so Villeneuve was back up into ninth and looking good for a points finish. However, his race ended on lap 64, just 14 laps from the finish, when his engine stopped and he was forced to retire.
Juan Pablo Montoya took victory in Monaco, the first time Williams have won here for 20 years, followed by Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren and Michael Schumacher of Ferrari. Williams' Ralf Schumacher and Renault's Fernando Alonso finished fourth and fifth, while fellow Renault driver Jarno Trulli crossed the line sixth. The final two points scoring positions were taken by McLaren's David Coulthard and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello. Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
'This has been a really tough weekend but we've shown how competitive we can be both in qualifying and race trim. I'm sorry Jacques was not able to finish as he was having a good race. We don't yet know what caused the engine to stop but we will investigate everything thoroughly this week. However, we have to put it behind us now and look forward to Canada where we'll have both guys back in action again.' Jacques Villeneuve Position: DNF
'It's extremely frustrating that I wasn't able to finish the race again. We didn't get a very good launch start and I lost time behind Heidfeld. I suspected there was something wrong with the engine at the first pitstop. There was an engine noise change and vibration, then it gave up coming through the tunnel. Once again I'm going to have to put this weekend behind me, focus on testing and hope for better things in the next race.'Source - Honda