The BAR 003 was the car with which the British American Racing team competed in the 2001Formula One season. It was driven by Jacques Villeneuve, who was in his third year with the team, and Olivier Panis, who joined from a year out of racing as McLaren‘s test driver.
After the team’s disastrous début season in 1999 had been partially redeemed by a promising display in 2000, hopes were high for regular podiums and even wins in 2001. However, the team took a step backwards. The car suffered from a handling problem, caused by a lack of rigidity in the chassis, which caused a slide in competitiveness as the year progressed, and was also often unreliable. The same could be said of the works Honda engines, which were also down-on-power compared to the units of the top teams. However, the team were still generally outpaced by rivals Jordan, whose EJ11 used the same engines.
The highlights were Villeneuve’s two podium finishes at Catalunya and Hockenheim, but even these were achieved due to a high rate of attrition in both races. Villeneuve was pushed hard by Panis throughout the season, but the Frenchman was rewarded with little in the way of hard results.
The team eventually finished sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, with 17 points.
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)