DECEMBER 6, 1999
Politics at BAR
THE long-awaited board meeting at British American Racing failed to produce the coup d'etat that had been rumored and so Craig╩Pollock's position within the team remains as before. He will be responsible for the management and running of the business side of the team while his challenger for control Adrian Reynard will be responsible for all technical aspects of the team. A BAR press statement said that this was "as envisaged in the original partnership agreement".
While the team spoke of having "a solid platform from which to work" the result of the discussion is that the cracks that exist have simply been painted over and nothing has really changed. The current uneasy relationship between Pollock and Reynard will continue and that this is likely to have an effect on the performance of the team as the issue will not be settled until either one or the other has departed. Getting rid of Reynard would be a radical step as it was he who organized the factory Honda engine deal and if he goes it is possible that Honda will go off and do a deal with Jordan.
The decision is understandable in that Pollock has a strong relationship with British American Tobacco - which has the ultimate control of the team - and the tobacco barons would prefer to have someone they know in charge. If, however, the team continues to fail to perform Pollock's position will probably come under threat as BAT cannot afford another disastrous year.
Much now depends of the performance of the BAR-Honda 02 which is due to make its first appearance within the next few days. The engine should be more competitive than this season's Supertec V10s but reliability may be suspect as it is a completely new engine. The team is concentrating hard on reliability so as to be in a position to score points as quickly as possible next year - to lighten the pressure on the team.
BAR is expected to have an all-new livery in 2000. This was tried out recently in a quick test with a Formula 3000 car at Pembrey, in Wales, with Formula 3 driver Kristian Kolby driving. The Danish driver did a number of high and low speed passes so that the livery could be filmed and then the car was packed away to avoid it being photographed. We understand that Jaguar Racing has recently done a similar test at Mallory Park.
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