Bahrain GP: BAR preview

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda head to the Middle East this weekend for the third round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, in Bahrain. The team conducted an intensive test at Paul Ricard this week to prepare for the next two races and the...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda head to the Middle East this weekend for the third round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, in Bahrain.

The team conducted an intensive test at Paul Ricard this week to prepare for the next two races and the key focus of their programme was addressing the reliability issues encountered in Malaysia, as well as aerodynamic development and compound selection of tyres for the start of the European season.

On the first day, third driver Anthony Davidson and test driver Enrique Bernoldi completed a combined total of 343 laps and 1664 kilometres. Anthony set the fastest time of the day, whilst Enrique completed a very impressive 176 laps - a team record for one day's running. The team went on to complete a total of 1768 kilometres of testing this week.

B*A*R Honda celebrated its second podium and a double points finish in Bahrain last year, when Jenson Button came home in third place and Takuma finished in fifth position. Reliability aside, performance indicators from the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend highlighted that a repeat of last year's success in Bahrain is certainly within the team's grasp.

The 5.417-kilometre, clockwise circuit in Sakhir features several low-speed corners, increasing the technical emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency and traction. The hot weather poses a challenge for both car and driver, and although the humidity is lower than in Malaysia, track temperatures will be high.

Jenson Button:

"Racing in Bahrain last year was a great experience. For me it's a circuit that I enjoy driving. It has some fast flowing sections and it is great pushing the car though the two large chicanes - turns 4 and 5 - and later the quick left and right. There are several overtaking opportunities, the main one being at turn one after the long straight. With so many teams being competitive, it should make for an exciting race."

Takuma Sato:

"After my unfortunate circumstance in Malaysia, I can't wait to get back into the car in Bahrain. Last year, at the same race, I had a strong weekend. I finished in the points in fifth position, and so I am really looking forward to going back there."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"After the disappointment of the double retirement in Malaysia, we head to Bahrain for the final leg of the initial fly-away races determined to turn clear signs of the 007 performance into tangible results. We can expect Bahrain to be almost as hot as the previous round and the high track temperatures will make looking after the tyres a critical element during the race."

"As part of the testing this week in Paul Ricard, we have been working with Michelin to finalise the tyre specifications as well as solving the reliability issues from the last race and further developing the aerodynamic characteristics of the car. A unique feature of Bahrain is the fine sand dust which can rapidly affect track conditions."

"The slow and medium corner speed circuit layout requires the car set-up to have good traction without too much understeer and a good brake package to cope with the heavy braking duty cycle."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"We have put a countermeasure in place for the problems that we had in Malaysia and will be doing our best to get some solid points on the board in Bahrain."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto