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BAR must score in Bahrain: Button
April 01, 2005 17:02 IST
BAR have to score points in Bahrain this weekend after drawing a blank in the first two races of the Formula One season, says Briton Jenson Button.
Button let rip at partners Honda after he and stand-in team mate Anthony Davidson were sidelined by engine failures in the last race in Malaysia and he felt fully justified in his anger.
With that problem sorted, according to apologetic Honda engineers, the English driver feels BAR can now get back on the road to recovery.
"Coming here the car looks reliable, which is positive because that's the thing we need the most," he told reporters at the Sakhir circuit. "Our season has to start from here really.
"If you look at last year we only had nine points by this point. We didn't have a very strong start to the season," added Button, who finished third in Bahrain last year on his way to 10 podium finishes in all.
BAR ended the year as runners-up to Ferrari but have wrestled with aerodynamic and engine problems with the new 007 car introduced in January.
"I'm 16 points behind (Renault's) Fernando (Alonso) so we need to start getting some good results, not just points but out there challenging the top teams," said Button.
"I think we can. Our race pace from what we've seen in testing is very good."
Button was ninth quickest in first practice at the dusty desert circuit on Friday.
The problem for both BAR and Button is that, with both cars retiring from the previous race, they must run early in Saturday's single-lap first qualifying on a track that will favour the later runners.
Button said Honda had responded promptly and favourably to his criticisms about the engines.
"When the adrenalin is pumping you say what you think. I was very upset because our performance so far in the race had been good," he said of Malaysia.
"It was disappointing that such a small part had gone wrong, especially for a company like Honda. I think I did the right thing and I think it shows how much I care about the performance of the team."
Button's loyalty was questioned last year after the Briton tried to join Williams, only for his contract with BAR to be upheld. However, there is a performance clause that has to be met by the team to prevent him leaving at the end of 2005.
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