B*A*R CONCLUDES FIRST TEST WITH '05 CONCEPT CAR
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda unveiled its '05 Concept car at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week as winter testing got underway. Race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, along with test driver Enrique Bernoldi, were in attendance to put the new car through its paces.
Jenson and Enrique shared the driving responsibilities on Day One of the test (Wednesday). First to drive the '05 Concept car was Enrique who spent the morning giving the car an initial shakedown over 17 laps. He completed a further 34 laps in the afternoon session although his running was cut short by a mechanical problem.
Jenson ran in chassis 006-06 evaluating a new 2005 aerodynamic configuration. He spent most of the morning finding a good set-up, alongside an engine evaluation for Honda. In the afternoon, he ran through a Michelin tyre evaluation, completing a total of 62 laps for the day.
Jenson had his first chance to drive the Concept car on Day Two (Thursday). After a frustrating morning due to engine problems, he spent the afternoon session running through a short tyre evaluation alongside chassis set-up work, completing a total of 44 laps for the day.
Enrique had a productive day driving chassis 006-06, completing an impressive total of 115 laps. He ran through a tyre compound programme, alongside an engine evaluation.
Takuma joined the test on Friday to have his first run in the 2005 specification 006-06. He spent the early part of the morning session finding a good balance before running through a comprehensive tyre evaluation, completing 51 laps.
Enrique took over from Takuma in the afternoon and completed long tyre runs on the favoured tyres from this morning. He completed 45 laps, resulting in a final tally for the day of 98 laps for the 006-06.
Jenson drove the Concept car for a second day, running through a short tyre evaluation, alongside a gearbox programme in the morning. His afternoon running consisted of further tyre evaluation and he totalled an impressive 87 laps for the day for the new Concept car.
"We've had a positive test in Barcelona for the last three days. It felt good to get back in the car and the rhythm of testing again after the end of season break. This test was my first chance to drive the new Concept car so we focused on testing new parts and looking at aerodynamic configurations for 2005."
"I'm reasonably happy with the progress we have made. We had a few small issues with the car, but nothing more than we expected for its first run. I'm looking forward to testing in Jerez and continuing our development for 2005."
"I am pleased with the results of our first winter test this week and feel we have achieved positive results. I drove the new Concept car for the first time on Wednesday. We had a few reliability issues which limited my laps but the information we received from running the car was invaluable. For the rest of the test, I drove chassis 006-06 and was able to put on a lot of mileage doing tyre evaluations which will help us make the most of the regulations for next year."
Andrew Alsworth, Test Team Manager:
"We've had a positive three-day test this week in Barcelona with the '05 Concept car and chassis 006-06. Jenson and Enrique completed the running in the Concept car, evaluating next year's rear end installation in conjunction with the new engine from Honda. Both drivers completed a total of 759 kms over the three days with only minor reliability issues interrupting the planned programme."
"Jenson and Enrique pronounced themselves happy with the car which they will continue to run at the Jerez test next week. Takuma joined the test for the third day driving chassis 006-06 in a 2005 aerodynamic configuration for the first time. Takuma will stay in Barcelona tomorrow to complete a Michelin wet test."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's been good to get some mileage on the new engine with over three months remaining before its race debut. We've had a few minor problems, which is not uncommon for a circuit debut, and it just feels good to have some things to get working on."