||January 14, 2003
B.A.R launched their new 005 F1 car on 14 January in Barcelona. The launch was held at
the fair centre in a hangar like hall by the old back straight of the Montjuich circuit.
All key personnel were present at the launch from Honda Racing executives and B.A.R. team
chiefs to the whole driver lineup.
I was on location pretty early for the pre-launch photo session for the snappers that was
due to take place at 10:30. After getting my press kit and a set of earplugs and sorting
out my gear ready for action it was clear that the photo session was not going to happen
on time. At least Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were in their overalls and already
speaking to the media. The photogs were anyway queing up at the gate that lead to the
launch area. Fifteen minutes later one Mr. Villeneuve wanders through the horde of snappers
wearing (baggy) cargo pants and a pink woolly hat - grinning to the amused photographers.
A while later the photo session was ready to go with all drivers along with David Richards
and Geoff Willis posing next to the brand new B.A.R. 005.
After the launch it was time to enjoy a little breakfast served at the reception area. Time
for the launch arrived and guests and journos hurried into their seats. Speaches were held
by David Richards, Geoff Willis, two Honda guys (both who spoke so bad english that no-one
knows what they were saying...err...reading from the teleprompter.) Here's a few comments
that caught my ears. Not the usual "We're aiming to win at least one GP." or "The car is
100% new and features a radical new rear diffusor and this and that and the engine has
50% more torque than its predecessor..."
"In the old days we'd had some Spice Girls to do this..." - David Richards when turning
the car on it's rotating base with Willis for a better angle on some technical aspects
they were talking about.
"It is, if what Geoff tells us is true... At least it looks like a proper F1 car."
- Jacques Villeneuve when asked if he believes
that the car is fast.
"The Honda engineers are not that good at English, so I think I can help them understand
what the people at B.A.R are saying about things a little better..." - Takuma Sato on his
role as the third driver at B.A.R.
After the chitchat the earplugs came in handy as the engine was fired up backstage so that
Jenson Button could rev up the 005 to the stage. No DNF on such a short running at least -
the car seems to work. The 005 itself seems very sleek with its low sidepods and Ferrari
style periscope exhausts - a proper F1 car as Jacques pointed out. All in all, the launch
was a bit bland. No smoke, no champagne, not Spice Girls. Just shows the economic depression
of Formula 1. Anyway, enjoy the pictures.