MAY 7, 2001
Trulli throws down gauntlet to BAR rivals
JORDAN driver Jarno Trulli has thrown down the gauntlet to his Honda rivals British American Racing by stating that he and team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen are quicker.
A fierce rivalry has developed between BAR and Jordan since the latter secured a Honda 'works' engine deal before the start of this season.
BAR were already powered by Honda engines when they came into the sport in 1999, but Trulli's latest comments will cause a stir as the teams prepare to battle to be the best Honda-powered competitor.
"They (BAR) are the first competitors for us so they are the first to beat," said Trulli. "Our performances are better than their performances and I don't think they can beat Jordan this year. We will only get stronger and stronger.
"For the first season with Honda we are doing pretty well because we are performing better than BAR, who are already in their second season with Honda."
Jordan are currently five points ahead of BAR in the Constructors' Championship, while Trulli is the top-placed driver of the four in the Drivers' Championship on seven points. Frentzen has six points, while Villeneuve has four and Panis three.
Trulli believes that Jordan's improved performance could convince the Japanese Honda company to focus more on their team in the future, rather than the equal commitment Honda state they currently give to both teams.
He added: "As I can see, BAR is probably slightly slower than us and the Japanese people can also see this situation so they might help Jordan more in the future."
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