BAR reveal radical looking 007 16 Jan 2005
BAR have unveiled their 2005 challenger, the 007, at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya. The car, which launches the teams three-year plan to win the world championship by 2007, features a dramatic front-wing and striking rear bodywork, all designed to help claw back the downforce lost under revised 2005 regulations.
Finishing an unexpected second in the constructor standings last year, BAR were the most improved team of 2004, and they hope the new car, a significant evolution of the highly successful 006, will bring them their first grand prix win.
The new car is visibly smaller and according to the team its more unified development and integration with the engine has resulted in a tighter, more refined packaging and considerable weight saving despite the more onerous 2005 structural and crash test requirements.
"I am delighted with the new BAR Honda 007, said technical director Geoffrey Willis. It is a logical next step for the team, being both a refinement of last years 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 visible differences to the external appearance of the car have been driven by the changes to the 2005 aerodynamic regulations, while under the skin the second-generation of BARs carbon-composite gearbox is a further development from the teams innovative 2004 concept and is lighter with improved internals designed and developed under the joint chassis programme with Honda.
"The most challenging elements of the new Technical Regulations are in the areas of aerodynamics and engine, confirmed Willis. In both cases we have undertaken an extremely intensive development programme and extensive testing with the 05 Concept car.
At the same time, 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."
Honda, who recently purchases a 45 percent stake in the team, have produced a new engine for the 007 to meet the challenge of the two-race rule introduced for the first time this season. Although similar in concept to the 2004 unit, it too is a completely revised design but is smaller, lighter and affords a lower centre of gravity.
"This year we have concentrated on three areas, explained Takeo Kiuchi, Hondas Formula One Project Leader. We have made the engine more compact and lowered the centre of gravity to improve the performance of the overall package. We have increased mid- to low-speed torque to improve acceleration at the start and exiting corners. Finally - this is our biggest challenge - we are aiming to maintain top power despite the new regulations."
For 2005, BAR have also developed their partnership with tyre supplier Michelin. In addition to the team conducting an extensive programme of tyre development during winter testing, they have been working closely together on the design of the 2005 car.
Following a very successful first year with Michelin, we have been able to design the 007 specifically around their tyre characteristics as well as being able to drive the development programme for the demands of the new regulations, commented Willis.
The 007 made a brief track debut at Barcelona ahead of the launch ceremony in the hands of Jenson Button. BAR are due to test the car in earnest at the circuit next week, with several of the other Formula One teams also in action.