Villeneuve and Panis sign for BAR for 2002

BAR-HONDA announced today that current drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis will remain with the team for the 2002 season.

Recent rumors of former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve moving to McLaren or Toyota through performance clauses in his contract have proved wide of the mark.

Villeneuve said, "I am looking forward to working with Lucky Strike BAR-Honda in 2002. Next year we should improve significantly and I'm confident that we can achieve some good results. I have been with the team for three seasons - since the beginning - and during that time there has been a steady progression. I'm very happy that we will continue working together to make the team as competitive as possible. It is also good news that Olivier and I will continue as team-mates. We work well together and that is important for the team to move forward and make the necessary progress."

Panis said, "I am extremely happy to continue with Lucky Strike BAR Honda in 2002. Stability is a key factor in the future of the team and I believe that, together with Honda, we can go on to achieve great success. When I joined it was because Craig Pollock, the team and the partners had faith in my ability to come back into full-time racing and be successful again. In return, I had the same faith in them and their ambition to fight with the top teams in the Constructors Championship. Things haven't always turned out as we expected but it means a lot to me that we still have that same confidence in each other. The fact that Jacques and I will continue to be team-mates is also very important. We've had nearly a year together to get to know each other better and to understand how we both work. Jacques is a fierce competitor and I look forward to working with him again as we challenge the 2002 Championships. Now that everything has been cleared up for next season, I intend to focus on the six races remaining this year and do my utmost to achieve the best possible result in 2001."

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