Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

BAR relying on 'old' Honda engines 26 May 2005

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, First Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 2 April 2005 Takuma Sato (JPN) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Preparations, Imola, Italy, 21 April 2005 Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Imola, Italy, 23 April 2005 Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Practice, Imola, Italy, 22 April 2005 Takuma Sato (JPN) BAR Honda 007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2005

The BAR team are due to start this weekend’s European Grand Prix meeting with the same engines they ran at Imola in April - engines which have been sat idle for the best part of five weeks.

Under the 2005 regulations, each engine must last two consecutive race weekends. As both Jenson Button and Takuma Sato were running fresh V10s at San Marino prior to BAR’s two-race ban, those same engines must now be used at the Nurburgring.

This could put the team at a real disadvantage. While five weeks may not be a long period for a road engine to go unused, for its Formula One counterpart it is an age. A team starting a Grand Prix weekend with engines that have not even been fired up for well over a month is unheard of.

Formula One engines are not designed to stand idle. It is quite possible that seals in the engine will have started to wear and that metals will have begun to corrode, all making a potential failure - and hence a ten-spot grid penalty for the driver concerned - more likely.

That is not the only disadvantage BAR will face. While their rivals have been able to add numerous modifications to their engines over the weeks since Imola, BAR will not be able to utilise their latest developments.

And on top of all this, under the new qualifying format for this weekend - just a single Saturday session - Sato and Button will have to go out first, when track conditions are usually at their least favourable.

With all these factors against them, few would be surprised if BAR simply accept grid penalties as inevitable and bolt Honda’s latest spec V10 into the 007. The car has continued to impress in testing since San Marino and the team is optimistic of a podium finish this weekend.

In all likelihood, the BAR cars will venture out in first practice with the old V10s in order to get some telemetry and driver feedback on their condition, giving their engineers some data on which to base any engine-change decisions.