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Aerodynamic efficiency key to new BAR 18 Mar 2003

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 005 
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 7 March 2003

The performance of Geoffrey Willis' BAR Honda 005 in Melbourne has drawn praise from other designers.

Sauber Petronas' technical director said: "We were very impressed with the car during winter testing, when there never seemed to be a performance drop-off in tyre tests with Bridgestone."

Jordan's Gary Anderson, director of the team's race and test engineering, said: "We also noticed how well the car uses its tyres during testing, when there never seemed to be any sign of the performance drop-off over a race distance that other Bridgestone users were experiencing. It's also very quick in the quick corners.

"All that is a sign that the car is very well balanced, and overall that comes down to the aerodynamics. It's a very good little car by the look of it."

Jenson Button said: "It's a great car, and I really love driving it."

One of the secrets of the Ferrari F2002 is the manner in which it conserves its rear tyres. The BAR appears to have emulated this virtue, but the cars were denied world championship points in Melbourne because of the confusion over the timing of Jacques Villeneuve's pit stop. The team is confident however that its new challenger will prove well suited to the very fast sweepers in Sepang at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.