Technical teams both within B.A.R and Honda are rightly proud of their latest creation - the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda 006. New technical and sporting regulations for the forthcoming season have clearly had a major impact both on chassis and engine...
Technical teams both within B.A.R and Honda are rightly proud of their latest creation - the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda 006. New technical and sporting regulations for the forthcoming season have clearly had a major impact both on chassis and engine design. The rules regarding aerodynamics have been revised since the end of the 2003 season and a new generation of 'long-life' engines must now go the distance for a full Grand Prix weekend.
However Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director, believes the team has overcome the technical challenges and created a very competitive race car for 2004. "I am very confident that we have made another big step forwards with the B.A.R Honda 006. It has been a big challenge, particularly with the tough new engine regulations, but has been ten months in design and represents another milestone in our long-term strategy," explains Willis.
He continues: "Our main objective in 2003 was to establish a credible engineering base, and 2004 provides us with the opportunity to use that credibility and be innovative in design. We now have the extra resource of Honda engineers recruited into the B.A.R design team, and we are beginning to see the benefits of an integrated, stable engineering base. In addition, testing with Michelin has given us the confidence that we have made good progress this winter. By the time the first race comes around, we will have completed almost three times as much testing as in the same period last year, and that extra effort is already visible in our greatly improved reliability. It is always difficult to predict performance against other teams before the first race, but we are certainly looking forward to getting the 006 on track."
With engines now forced to complete nearly double the distance, Honda has also faced major challenges in the design of its latest RA004E V10 power plant -- a new engine for a new era.
"We are very pleased with the RA004E because, although we have doubled the engine life, we have been able to make it lighter and smaller, with a lower centre of gravity," reports Takeo Kiuchi, Head of Worldwide Automobile Racing and F1 Project Leader for Honda Racing and Development. "As for the power output, it is already more powerful than last year's final Suzuka engine and we plan further increases before Australia. We have achieved this by improving the quality of the parts and the precision of the structure, as well as reducing vibrations further. We are confident that it will be a top class engine."