Wednesday May 23rd, 2001
British American Racing team boss Craig Pollock claimed on Wednesday that Canadian Jacques Villeneuve and Frenchman Olivier Panis are the best driver pairing in Formula One.
"I firmly believe we have the strongest driver line-up in F1," Pollock said. "I rate Jacques equal to Mika (Hakkinen) and Michael (Schumacher) and Olivier ahead of David (Coulthard) and Rubens (Barrichello).
"I think both of our drivers are still getting better and that's what we want in the team. It's easier to get half a second a lap out of the driver than out of the car."
Pollock also claimed that Canadian Villeneuve has had his worst start to a season, despite securing the team's first ever podium.
Villeneuve, world champion in 1997, finished third in Barcelona in April to record BAR's best-ever result, but Pollock believes he has endured his worst start to a season and said that Panis has got the better of him this year.
"Olivier is doing a very, very good job in the car and certainly pulling Jacques along," said Pollock. "I think Jacques has had the worst start to any season that I've seen him having up until now.
"But he seems to have clicked back in. Certainly in the last test he was very fast in the car. His focus is back again and I think he will be very competitive."