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Can Ainslie avoid the Formula 1 curse?

Ben Ainslie talked-up the Land Rover BAR performance in his latest article for the Daily Telegraph following the poor showing in the latest practice session.

Not so much a poor showing as a no-show. The BAR Land Rover team only appeared for two races (1 win, 1 loss) while the other teams (except ETNZ) did seven or more.

Artemis continued to dominate with an 8 win - 2 loss record and winning 24 of 29 races in total.

Ainslie claimed that - 'The truth is, as a new team, we were always going to come at this campaign with a late charge.

Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan - by association with Oracle - effectively carried straight on from the last cycle.

They have always been 12 months ahead of the likes of ourselves and Team France simply because they already had their design teams set up and began their development cycle that bit before us.

But that gap is shrinking fast as we get closer to the main event.'

Ainslie says that they are playing the long game, but with less than three weeks to go time is running out.

This week BAR launched a new bespoke steering wheel, developed in collaboration with technical partners Land Rover, which Ainslie says has made a real difference in control of the boat.

Click image for a larger image

Ainslie says that the key question now is, 'Can we learn to sail the boat as well with all of these last-minute upgrades in foils and daggerboards and rudders, and also in terms of the set-up of the boat ?"

There is one more round of practice racing, a final chance to see if the last-minute upgrades are having the disired effect.

The British team won the lead-in series, and come to Bermude with an advantage.

But, that is in the past, this is the real-deal, now they have to show that their design side has delivered the goods, and that they have a boat that can perform, so far that has not been apparent.

Much has been made of the BAR team connection with Formula 1 motor racing, a similar high-tech, equipment driven sport. But notorious for leaving world-class drivers sitting on the grid in a cloud of smoke.

Ben Ainslie Daily Telegraph article

America's Cup skippers discuss practice racing

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