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Honda is missing Villeneuve

NEWS STORY
02/02/2005

Believe it or not, that is what Pitpass is hearing.

Despite BAR's success in 2004, with Jenson Button finishing third in the drivers' championship and the Brackley outfit finishing runner-up in the constructors' championship to Ferrari, some of Honda's senior engineers are said to be missing the technical input of the 1997 world champion.

Without doubt, 2004 was BAR's best ever season, and depending on whom you listen to, the credit should go to Button, Geoff Willis, David Richards, Honda and all manner of others.

However to according to one respected source, senior engineers at Honda believe that the reason the Japanese manufacturer made a major step forward in 2004 was due to the input it received from Jacques Villeneuve while he was with the team.

Furthermore, it is claimed that despite the sterling work being done by the team's current race and test drivers, they are all chassis men and not giving the sort of engine feedback that Honda is used to.

We hear that several Honda engineers "regret" the decision to let Villeneuve go and are highly critical of the way in which the relationship ended. It's understood that Honda knew that this was a long-term programme but despite his best efforts, Button isn't progressing as fast - in terms of engine development - as Villeneuve.

And which company recently bought a large slice of BAR?

Now that's something to get you thinking.

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