British American Racing team was built on the remnants of Tyrrell, bought by British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1997. Tyrrell completed its final season using own car and historic name in 1998, and since 1999 BAR started its own way. BAR 01 was the first team’s car designed by Adrian Reynard and Malcolm Oastler from Reynard Motorsport which provided design services to BAR F1 team. BAR 01 utilized moulded carbon fibre composite structure and was powered by FB01 V10 engine, developed by Renault and branded as Supertec. The major driving force behind BAR project was team principal Craig Pollock, who recruited his good friend and protégée Gilles Villeneuve as works driver number one. The second driver was Ricardo Zonta, the 1997 Formula 3000 champion and 1998 FIA GT champion. The performance of the newborn team in its inaugural season was disappointing – many retirements and no points. But BAR 01 took a place in F1 history not because of its results, but due to very unusual livery. BAT, the tobacco company, wanted to promote two of its cigarette brands – Lucky Strike and 555 by using two different liveries. Villeneuve’s car had to advertise Lucky Strike while Zonta’s vehicle had to be painted in 555 colors. But FIA did not allow two different liveries as the regulations stated that both cars must have the same liveries, with only minor differences such as the car number, driver’s nationality flag and name. A compromise design was created by having a dual livery where one side of the car had Lucky Strike branding and the other side had 555 branding. he car’s livery then had a “zip” up the centre which spread wide at the end of the nosecone to allow other sponsors not to be affected by the dual color design. The rear wing was also compromised: 555 had the side facing forwards and Lucky Strike had the side facing backwards. All mechanics’ suits were also half Lucky Strike and half 555 apart from the drivers who had different suits and helmets. Jacques Villeneuve had the Lucky Strike branding on his suit helmet and Ricardo Zonta had the 555 branding. For races where tobacco branding was not allowed (French, British and Belgian Grand Prix), 555 was replaced by crescent moons as previously was done with works Subaru Impreza rally cars, and Lucky Strike was replaced with “Run Free” on the car’s nose and wings.
|Jacques Villeneuve||22||British American Racing|