Why were the BARs so quick on Friday?

FRIDAY practice does not mean much in Formula 1 these days but the performance of the two BAR-Hondas in Montreal on Friday was rather more impressive than has been the case in recent races. Was it just some theatre to keep the team in the spotlight, or has there been a significant step forward? Honda announced shortly before the event in Montreal that they would not have the promised new V10 engine that was supposed to end the woes of the two Honda-engined teams but it emerged in testing that the new unit was no reliable enough. But, rather than going back to an old spec engine Honda produced an Austrian-spec unit with a lot of development bits which, the dynos said, was on a par with the Canadian unit. So although Honda had to take a PR hit because it has promised something but had not delivered there was a surprising amount of confidence from the Honda men.

The BAR engineers have been working very hard in recent months to revamp the car that was acquired when the new technical team took over. The new aerodynamic package arrived in time for Montreal.

Put it all together and the result was a good showing on Friday.

But, as the Honda men admitted on Friday afternoon, there can only be a definitive step forward if the same can be achieved on Saturday afternoon....

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