Villeneuve incenses Button 10 Mar 2003
Jacques Villeneuve described his decision to pit in Melbourne on the lap intended for team-mate Jenson Button as a problem with the radio communication in his BAR Honda. "I had radio problems so it was very difficult to communicate with the pit wall and both cars ended up pitting at the same time," the 1997 world champion said.
But Button took a different view. "It was very frustrating that we made the wrong tyre choice at the start and for my team-mate to come in on the wrong lap was disappointing and quite embarrassing, really," he said, diplomatically.
The Englishman had been right on Villeneuve's tail but lost 13 seconds while the team had to move his tyres and fuel out of the way and grab Villeneuve's from the garage.
Over the remainder of the Grand Prix Button made full use of his softer compound Bridgestone tyres to reduce the deficit to Villeneuve to less than half a second as they crossed the finish line in ninth and 10th places.
"The car worked very well in practice and qualifying," Button added, "so it was very disappointing to finish where we did today because we were very quick in the race."
He set the sixth fastest lap, Villeneuve the ninth.
Team principal David Richards said the team now looked forward with confidence.