Saturday March 10th, 2001
Managing director Craig Pollock has said that his British American Racing team are prepared for the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite Jacques Villeneuve's crash in the Australian Grand Prix.
Australian officials impounded Villeneuve's BAR after race marshal Graham Beveridge was killed following an accident on the fifth lap of the Melbourne race.
But with production well on schedule at the team's Brackley headquarters, Pollock has said BAR will have a full complement of cars at the Sepang circuit in a week's time.
"The accident put us behind in our production of chassis for the season," said Pollock. "But the team will have three cars minimum, potentially four cars in Malaysia."
While Pollock knows the accident has not caused problems for the team, he said he could see after the race that the terrible accident had left Villeneuve in shock.
"The way that I could tell that was because Jacques rates accidents," explained Pollock. "He basically says 'that was a good one', 'that was a big one'.
"This time he didn't say anything about it all, which is proof to me that he was thinking about how bad this one was."
The accident occurred when Villeneuve hit the rear of Ralf Schumacher's BMW-Williams and went flying off the circuit.
It was almost certainly the biggest of Villeneuve's career, but Pollock knows his driver well and believes he will be back to his best in Malaysia.
"I do not think the crash will affect Jacques adversely on a personal basis," commented Pollock. "Jacques is a very cool character and is very capable of putting this out of his head."