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I think this will be a good move. I think de Ferran could do what needs to be done in is position. Willis needs to devote more of his time to conituing development of the 007. I'm glad they are trying something to turn this boat around.
 

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de Ferran: 'I'm up to the challenge'
Friday April 08 2005



Gil de Ferran is convinced he is ready for a belated move into F1 but does not expect to make an immediate impact in his role as Sporting Director at BAR.
The Brazilian, who won the ChampCar title and the Indianapolis 500 during his time in the United States, was regarded as one of the best racers out of Formula One.

He has finally made it to grand prix racing as BAR-Honda's new Sporting Director and believes he is ready for the challenge of motorsport's top category.

"I'm sure there are many nuances about Formula One world and Formula One racing that I don't know about and therein lies some of the challenge," he said.

"But on the other hand I feel like I have assimilated all the experience I can over the years."

"This type of role is definitely something I want to do. I suppose time will tell how successful I'm going to be. I feel very comfortable. I completely understand what I have to do."

"I am also comfortable that the jury is still out, it's out for everyone, it's always going to be out. The only way to change that is to do your job well and hopefully deliver the right results."

But the 37-year-old admits his role will be to improve BAR's performances in the medium term, rather than providing a quick fix to their early-season difficulties.

Neither Jenson Button nor Takuma Sato have finished a race in three attempts so far this season but de Ferran's first job will be to learn the ropes, not find instant solutions.

"My first task is going to be doing a lot of observing and listening," he said. "The worst thing I could do is disrupt a good thing in the short term."

"Obviously BAR-Honda finished second in the Championship last year with mostly the same people."

"I have to find my feet first. In the short term my plan is to observe and take a lot of information in and hopefully over time my contribution will increase."

"I look forward to the challenge and I am ready for it."

BAR Chief Executive Nick Fry insists his team are still on course for a maiden grand prix win this season despite the disappointments so far.

Fry is encouraged by testing in Spain this week which has seen BAR top the timing sheets.

He said: "The appointment of Gil is a long-term appointment. Gil has to get up to speed but frankly I don't think that will take long."

"We are doing this to get the right blend of people to eventually win the World Championship."

"I don't think Gil is going to change things immediately but I am sure he will have significant impact in the medium and longer term."

"I am still extremely confident that we will achieve our aim of winning a race or maybe even more this season."

"I think by the time we get to Imola we will be in good shape and hopefully provide Jenson with the service he needs to do better and hopefully win this year."
 
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