BAR drivers target first win with 007 16 Jan 2005
Both Jenson Button and Takuma Sato are confident that BARs new 007 car, unveiled in Barcelona on Sunday, can bring the team their maiden grand prix victory in 2005.
Button, who finished third in last years drivers championship at the wheel of the 007s predecessor, gave the new machine its track debut at the official launch ceremony and afterwards said he is expecting great things of the Honda-powered car.
"I am very much looking forward to the start of the season and getting back to racing. 2005 will be a very important year for BAR Honda as a team, to prove that 2004 wasnt just a one-off, he said. We need to show that we are a consistent top team and again can challenge McLaren and Ferrari for podiums.
"Winter testing has been very encouraging and I have done more mileage in this testing period than ever before. The car has shown good reliability, as has the engine, which is very important considering the new engine regulations whereby one engine must last for two races. Michelin is also doing a great job. We have been working very closely with them and the progress we have made with the tyres will make a big difference when we kick off the season in Melbourne. I am hoping, as are the team, that our first win is just around the corner."
Meanwhile, Sato, who scored his first ever podium with team in 2004, was equally optimistic for the season ahead: "The regulation changes will make it very interesting and a big challenge for all the teams, not only from a technical point of view, but also because of the rule changes. BAR Honda had such a great season last year and are very fortunate to be carrying that momentum through to this season and I think that this will definitely help in our challenge for the 2005 Championship.
I am going into my second season here with more experience, confidence and team stability. Obviously I want to push myself even harder to try and improve on my podium finish last year and my ultimate goal must be to challenge for more podiums and eventually to achieve my first win. This is a great feeling to have going into the new season and I am really looking forward to it!"
After their high championship finish in 2004, BAR will not be able to run a third car in Friday practice this season. However, test driver Anthony Davidson has been hard at work helping to develop the new car and is looking forward to another positive year with the team.
"We have completed a lot of mileage with the 2005 regulations set-up, he said. Testing has been physically more demanding as we have had to complete more laps due to this year s engine regulation. It will definitely be a fun and more challenging year!
"The BAR Honda 007 looks amazing and the new Honda engine feels good and has been reliable so far. Everyone in the team is highly motivated and although I am not racing this year I am in a very good position. To be testing for the second best team in the world is an opportunity that many drivers dream about."