BAR primed for European race return 24 May 2005
Button and Sato keen to stage podium comeback
The BAR team are in confident mood as they prepare to resume Grand Prix action at the Nurburgring this weekend after sitting out their two-race ban in Spain and Monaco.
Since their Imola setback, which saw the team punished for a weight irregularity on Jenson Buttons car, BAR have continued to test, putting a further series of tyre, brake, engine and aerodynamic developments through their paces.
The results have been promising, with Takuma Sato topping the times in the final day of the recent Paul Ricard session, and the team believe a podium finish in Sundays European Grand Prix is not out of the question.
"We have spent the last few weeks waiting somewhat impatiently for this weekend and, although we would rather have been racing, all efforts went into turning this hiatus into an opportunity for the team to improve its performance, said sporting director Gil de Ferran.
Since we last raced in Imola there have been several enhancements to our aerodynamic performance, which bode well for the coming races. As we haven't had the opportunity to measure up against the competition, we look forward to doing so at the Nurburgring."
BAR had mixed fortunes at the European round last year, with Takuma Sato scoring his first front-row grid position before retiring from the race, and Jenson Button clinching a podium finish behind the two Ferraris.
"I really enjoy racing at this circuit; it has some interesting track characteristics, particularly a lot of undulation which make it a lot of fun to drive, said Sato. It's a good place to make our comeback. We had a strong race here last year and I'm looking forward to a good performance on Sunday."
The whole team is incredibly upbeat and determined, added Button. I've been so impressed with the way they've handled this situation and I can't wait to see what we can achieve at the Nurburgring.
"The most frustrating thing about the past few weeks has been knowing that we have a strong car with some very impressive new developments just sitting in the factory when we could have been out there challenging for podiums, if not wins.
BAR are certainly in need of points. After being stripped of their San Marino result they are yet to score a point in 2005.