Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed a comprehensive three-day, three- car, four-man test in Barcelona this afternoon. This was a particularly important programme for the team, as it was the last opportunity to test prior to the FIA's summer ban, ...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed a comprehensive three-day, three- car, four-man test in Barcelona this afternoon. This was a particularly important programme for the team, as it was the last opportunity to test prior to the FIA's summer ban, preventing any team from testing again until September.
As a result, all the teams except Minardi joined B?A*R to test their last performance enhancements and developments prior to the British Grand Prix.
The team was initially greeted with rain on arrival at the Circuit de Catalunya, but the weather soon changed to sunny conditions with very hot temperatures reaching up to 33°C.
Day one saw race driver Jenson Button, third driver Takuma Sato and test driver Anthony Davidson take to the wheel of the B*A*R Honda 005s. Their focus was tyre testing for Bridgestone and an initial assessment of the aero upgrade which will be introduced at Silverstone next weekend. Jenson Button got off to a good start despite the rain and recorded the fourth fastest time of 1:18.940 after completing 90 laps. Takuma Sato completed 75 laps and recorded a fastest lap time of 1:19.186. Anthony Davidson completed 114 laps with a best lap time of 1:20.525.
Jacques Villeneuve continued the development work, particularly with the aerodynamics package. He completed 40 laps and posted a fastest lap time of 1:19.997. Jenson Button continued his test with various tyre compound combinations and completed 93 laps recording a fastest time of 1:19.499. Takuma Sato concentrated on more suspension work and ended the day having completed 50 laps with a best lap time of 1:19.289.
"From my point of view it was a good test. We tried out some new bodywork, which I felt was a good step forward. It's nice to be making progress and to see new developments working well. We also did a lot of tyre testing and found out some new and useful information. Other than that it was a case of completing the usual set-up work and although we had a few problems with the transmission and clutch, overall it was a very reasonable and constructive test."
Anthony Davidson rejoined for the final day's testing alongside Jacques Villeneuve and Takuma Sato for an intensive tyre test and further evaluation of Honda and Bridgestone developments. Jacques completed 71 laps on the final day achieving a fastest time of 1:19.004. Takuma Sato finished on 70 laps and posted a best lap of 1:17.901. Despite his rib injury, Anthony Davidson ended his session having notched up a total of 93 laps, recording a best time of 1:20.420.
"We have had a very good test here in Barcelona although it was very hot. We completed a lot of laps and experienced less reliability issues, which allowed us to concentrate on set-up work. The results of this work show in the lap times, so hopefully it will be useful for future races. The car felt really good. We worked closely with Honda on the new evolution engine and I think that we will be running it in Silverstone next week. The new engine is a positive step."
"We have had a few aero bits introduced throughout the season, but there were areas that we were not that happy with. The new aero package we have tested here has been very positive. We have achieved most of what we set out to do at this test, which is good. We hope to be more competitive in Silverstone and I am looking forward to the race."
"The test for me was difficult due to my rib injury which was just about bearable for 10 lap runs. But I ran a good set-up and had a fairly good pace on the new tyres and a reasonable pace on the old tyres. We got through a lot of tyre work and engine testing and we had a good test in the wet with a new tyre. The last day was satisfying after having completed 90 laps and engine reliability was good."
"Unfortunately we experienced some problems at the start which limited the number of laps we ran. However, we got some positive results from the new specification engine testing with Honda. Overall I think we achieved what we set out to do and I am happy with that."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development:
"It has been good to test with three cars and four drivers for the first time. We have covered a lot of miles and worked through a substantial test programme in a joint effort to improve results for the remainder of the season."