Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda concluded a three-day test at Paul Ricard today, where weather conditions have been vaguely reminiscent of Interlagos! Continuous heavy rain on day one meant that Jacques Villeneuve was only able to complete 16 laps in...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda concluded a three-day test at Paul Ricard today, where weather conditions have been vaguely reminiscent of Interlagos!
Continuous heavy rain on day one meant that Jacques Villeneuve was only able to complete 16 laps in the treacherous conditions. The team were greeted by a wet track again on Thursday but they were able to get the planned programme underway, which consisted of tyre testing for the next two Grands Prix and running Honda's latest specification engine, scheduled to be used in Imola next weekend. A predominantly trouble-free day resulted in 134 laps of track time for Jacques, the second fastest time of the day, and plenty of data for the engineers.
"The beginning of the test was affected badly by the weather so we were unable to do much work on the first day. The afternoon of the second day was very productive though. We managed to do a lot of laps with the new engine, which was great; it is reliable and works well. We concentrated mainly on tyre testing and were able to choose our tyres for Imola. I'm really looking forward to the next race."
Jenson Button took over the driving duties on day three and, after an acclimatisation run, he began an aerodynamic evaluation, tyre testing and more mileage for the latest specification Honda engine. A gearbox problem put him out of action in the middle part of the day but a quick turnaround by the mechanics meant that he was able to complete most of his programme. The forecast rain arrived in the afternoon so the team switched to a wet tyre test.
"We got through most of our programme today but we were held back again by the weather. I think that all the teams testing here believe that there is definitely room for improvements to the circuit. It needs to have some kerbs added and some proper tyre barriers to enhance safety in the wet conditions. Generally, I think we have made good progress this week and I'm feeling optimistic as we head to Imola."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development:
"It's been another reliable and productive test as far as the engine is concerned this week. We have been using the Imola spec unit, and are looking forward to seeing it in action for real at the race next week."