Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda topped the timesheets for two consecutive days in Mugello this week where the team has been testing alongside Ferrari and Minardi. Boosted by a return to podium form in Imola last week, the team continued its efficient ...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda topped the timesheets for two consecutive days in Mugello this week where the team has been testing alongside Ferrari and Minardi. Boosted by a return to podium form in Imola last week, the team continued its efficient testing programme in pursuit of an even stronger performance in Barcelona next weekend.
Over the past two days B*A*R Honda has notched up a total of 532 laps, some 2782 kms, at the toughest and most physically demanding circuit on this year's test schedule. The team concentrated on the evaluation of further aerodynamic upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix, as well as various tyre programmes and the introduction of the latest specification engines from Honda.
Race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato focused on development work with the B*A*R Honda 007 car, whilst Anthony Davidson and Enrique Bernoldi each worked on split programmes with the 007 and a prototype chassis evaluating developments for the 2006 regulations.
Takuma and Anthony drove on Wednesday, with both drivers spending their early laps acclimatising to the cars and the circuit. Takuma moved onto an evaluation of the new aerodynamic developments, completing a total of 92 laps and setting the second fastest time of the day.
Anthony ran through a tyre programme looking at future developments and compound options for Barcelona, covering a very impressive 165 laps. He completed a record test distance for the team over one day and also set the fastest time of the day - a 01:20.652, two one-hundreths ahead of Takuma and ahead of the Ferraris of Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher.
Jenson and Enrique joined the second day of the test on Thursday. Jenson continued the evaluation on the aerodynamic upgrades, completing 123 laps and setting the fastest time of the day - a 01:20:250. Enrique ran through some early set-up runs, before completing a series of tyre evaluations for forthcoming races. He continued this in the afternoon session over longer runs. Enrique's final lap tally for the day was 151 laps.
"The test in Mugello went very well this week. I drove on one of the two days and we got through all our test items looking at some new aerodynamic developments on the car. I completed 123 laps today and we found some interesting things with the new aero package which I am confident will enhance our performance in Barcelona."
"I was very pleased with my day of testing here in Mugello. Mainly I concentrated on our new aero update for Barcelona with Anthony doing the tyre work. We did a lot of aero testing before Imola and were confident in its performance so to have two consecutive step-ups in our aero package is very special."
"The new parts worked well today and the car was reliable so I am very happy. After a strong performance in Imola, we should be very excited for Barcelona next weekend."
"I had a very positive test this week. We completed the test programme successfully on my car, running through a tyre evaluation on the prime tyres for Barcelona and a construction programme for Michelin. I covered 866 kms which is a record distance for any B*A*R Honda driver on one test day."
"Mugello is also one of the most physically demanding circuits out there and certainly the toughest test track which we go to so I'm really pleased with this achievement. I've been working hard on my fitness to build up to this test and the training really paid off in being able to complete the distances required by the team."
"It was an interesting day today, I focused mainly on tyre evaluations completing a mix of short and long runs. It is five years since I drove at Mugello so it has been good to be back here, especially as it is such a fast track. I completed 151 laps today which is tough on such a physical track, so I'm very pleased and think that we have got some good data from the hard work."
Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer:
"This week has seen another impressive test for B*A*R Honda. The whole team has been outstanding in working together to produce further positive upgrades ahead of next week's Barcelona Grand Prix. The impressive reliability of the B*A*R Honda 007 chassis, and the all-round effort required to support the programme, has allowed the test team to once again shoehorn a great deal into a two-day test."
"With the tough nature of the circuit here in Mugello, we have used all four drivers to ensure optimum use of our track time. Due to the nature of our development programme this week and in total respect of our testing agreement with the other eight teams, both Anthony yesterday and Enrique today, had to combine work in two different chassis, which is a credit to them both."
"Anthony in particular impressed everyone with his fantastic effort yesterday. We are all very much looking forward to next week's race where we expect to be even more competitive than in Imola."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We have had a generally positive test with some promising lap times and we are therefore looking forward to Spain next week."