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banner Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 11:13 GMT
BAR appoint new boss
Jacques Villeneuve is a close friend of Pollock
Will Villeneuve stay at BAR in Pollock's absence?
David Richards has been appointed the new boss of British American Racing (BAR).

The Formula One team made the announcement at the launch of their car for the 2002 season on Tuesday, following the shock resignation of team principal Craig Pollock.

Richards, 49, is best known for his long involvement in the World Rally Championship.

"I said I'd only return if all the ingredients were in place, I see that here today," Richards said.


I will be carefully assessing the situation over the next month before making any necessary changes
Dave Richards
New BAR chief

"With today's announcements BAR can move forward with a secure future based on strong partnerships."

Honda's head of racing technology development Toru Ogawa praised the out-going Pollock's work before focusing on the future.

"For 2002 we introduce a brand new engine and on the chassis side we are strengthening our commitment with our new long-term agreement with BAR," said Ogawa.

Richards had a spell as chief executive of the Benetton Formula One team from 1997, before quitting after an argument with the team's owners.

Pollock, who had run BAR for four years since its inception, stood down on Monday saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities.

It remains to be seen whether his departure will affect the position of Canadian BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion.

The pair are known to be close and their relationship was credited for Villeneuve's willingness to stay at an uncompetitive team.

New signing

The BAR team also unveiled new test driver Japan's Ryo Fukuda who has signed a long-term test contract.

Fukuda was French Formula Three champion in 2001, with seven wins in eight races, and replaces compatriot Takuma Sato.

"I am pleased to have him on board and believe he can play a significant role in our major development push next season and beyond," said engineering director Malcolm Oastler.

BAR retained three other development drivers for 2002, Britain's Anthony Davidson and Darren Manning and Frenchman Patrick Lemarie.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC motor racing correspondent Jonathan Legard
"Formula One will now be David Richards' primary concern"
New BAR chief Dave Richards
"Villeneuve is a key element of the team"
See also:

17 Dec 01 |  Formula One
Boss splits with BAR
27 Nov 01 |  Formula One
Pollock warns of cash crisis
15 Apr 01 |  Formula One
Pollock attacks BAR sell-off reports
10 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Pollock facing BAR axe
18 Dec 01 |  Photo Galleries
BAR reveal 2002 car
Internet links:


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