Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed a comprehensive three-day, three-driver, three-car test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain yesterday afternoon. This was a particularly important programme for the team, as it was the last opportunity to test...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed a comprehensive three-day, three-driver, three-car test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain yesterday afternoon. This was a particularly important programme for the team, as it was the last opportunity to test until September due to the FIA's summer ban.
This week the team ran a comprehensive Michelin tyre test alongside a Honda engine programme with chassis 006-01, 006-02 and the new 006-06. Other F1 teams participating at the Circuito de Jerez were Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Renault, Jaguar and Toyota.
Day 1 (Wednesday) saw Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson undertaking the driving duties in chassis 01 and 02 respectively. Jenson set the second fastest time of the day - a 1:17.922. He continued to complete a Michelin programme evaluating options for the German and Hungarian Grands Prix in the afternoon and completed an impressive total of 114 laps.
Anthony's plan for the day was to concentrate on an aerodynamic programme, however an engine failure limited his morning's running to 22 laps when he set the third fastest time - a 1:18.039. In the afternoon Anthony suffered a gearbox and further engine problem, however he completed a total of 45 laps and his position on the timesheet remained unchanged. Anthony also completed 8 laps shaking down the new chassis 06.
All three cars ran on Day 2 (Thursday) with Jenson driving chassis 01, Takuma Sato joining the test in chassis 02 and Anthony in chassis 06. Jenson set the second fastest time of the day - a 1:17.443 - despite a number of problems affecting his planned test programme. A gearbox problem and scheduled engine change meant that he was only able to complete 27 laps in total.
Takuma's morning running was limited to 9 laps after he experienced a transmission problem. His afternoon session was more productive when he completed 65 laps and set the seventh fastest time of the day. Anthony completed a transmission programme in chassis 06.
The final day (Friday) saw Takuma and Anthony completing the test in chassis 01 and 02 respectively. Takuma set the third fastest time of the morning - a 1:17.614 - despite being interrupted by gearbox problems which limited his running to 27 laps. In the afternoon, he completed the majority of his planned aerodynamic programme before an engine failure brought his running to a premature end. However, he completed a total of 75 laps for the day and his morning time remained third on the timesheet.
Anthony set the fourth quickest time of the morning whilst running through some longer runs on the tyre options for the forthcoming Grands Prix. He completed 93 laps and his full test programme of chassis and suspension evaluation.
"We had a solid first day of testing and were able to complete our full programme. We managed to record a lot of laps and concentrated on tyre testing for Hockenheim and the Hungaroring. Although we finished both days near the top of the timesheets, we were unable to keep the momentum going into our second day in Jerez. Due to problems with the car my running was extremely limited and I only managed to get out for the last part of the day. Looking ahead to the German Grand Prix, the circuit should suit our car well and we are hoping to once again compete for a strong points finish."
"As this was a very important test we made the maximum effort to bring all three cars here to take advantage of the running before the summer ban. It has been a difficult test for me - I experienced gearbox and engine problems that affected my running and our tyre test programme. However, we were able to investigate the new aerodynamic package and it will be interesting to see the results from the data analysis back at the factory. I hope that this test will be able to provide us with the step forward that we need for the next few races and I am looking forward to racing at Hockenheim next week."
"We got through everything that we needed to during the test this week, despite the short amount of running. We ran through the longer runs of our Michelin programme today and are very pleased with the results. There has been a marked improvement in the car's pace following some mechanical set-up changes and it was extremely satisfying setting the fourth fastest time today, just 0.02 seconds behind Taku. We feel that this has been a positive test and are looking forward to hopefully seeing the benefits in Hockenheim next week."
Andrew Alsworth, Test Team Manager:
"The whole team has worked extremely hard this week in some very hot and often uncomfortable conditions. We have completed some 1900 kilometres and ran through an intensive Michelin tyre test evaluation for the final options for the forthcoming German and Hungarian Grands Prix. We have also completed a Honda engine development programme alongside various chassis developments and so overall we've had a very productive test and have completed the planned programme over our three days in Jerez."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's been a slightly frustrating three days, with running interrupted on a number of occasions with various problems. However, we have been able to do some more testing of our upgraded engine for Hockenheim, and are confident it will give us a performance boost as we aim to return to the podium."