JANUARY 18, 2001
BAR development hurt by new crash
THE British American Racing team has suffered a number of serious accident overs the years because of suspension failures but the timing of the latest crash at Jerez de la Frontera could not have been worse for the team. The prototype BAR-Honda 003 crashed heavily into the barriers on Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately Jacques Villeneuve was not hurt in the crash but the car was seriously damaged and that will mean that there will be no more testing until either the damaged car is repaired or the second BAR 003 chassis is finished.
Before the accident Villeneuve was rather disappointed with the performance of the 2001 chassis which he described as being "slow and difficult to drive", although he was hoping that intensive development would improve the car.
BAR was hoping that the 2001 chassis would provide a further leap forward for the team after what looked like a promising year in 2000. Poor performance this year will almost certainly lead to changes within the BAR technical team as the original design team were from Reynard and were on three-year deals with BAR. These deals come to a close at the end of the year.
Jaguar's plans for 2001 have also suffered a setback with Eddie Irvine crashing the Jaguar R2 during his first run with the new car in Valencia. The front end of the car was badly damaged and had to be sent back to Britain for repairs. The team said that the driver had not been to blame for the crash. The team will now have to rely on an old R1B test car.
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