Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda ran a double test programme in Valencia and Jerez this week in preparation for the next two races. Jacques Villeneuve began a two-day stint in Valencia on Tuesday (14th May) and was joined by Anthony Davidson on Wednesday.
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda ran a double test programme in Valencia and Jerez this week in preparation for the next two races. Jacques Villeneuve began a two-day stint in Valencia on Tuesday (14th May) and was joined by Anthony Davidson on Wednesday. Olivier Panis took over from Thursday, running solo for the last two days of the test, while Anthony made his way south to Jerez for a further two-day programme, this time focusing on preparation for next month's Canadian Grand Prix.
While the Monaco circuit is truly unique, Valencia's characteristics make it the ideal track to prepare for the demanding high downforce conditions of the Monte Carlo streets. The key elements of this week's test there have been aerodynamic updates, Monaco-specification tyre work with Bridgestone and further engine development with Honda.
On Day 1 in Valencia, Jacques completed 81 laps in total and posted the 4th fastest time - a 1:14.337 compared with Pizzonia's 1:12.851.
On Day 2, Jacques completed 15 laps before an electrical problem cut short his run. Anthony took over for 6 laps while the team resolved the problem and Jacques was able to complete a further 42 laps in the afternoon, bringing his total running to 57 laps for the day. He posted the 3rd fastest time of the day - a 1:12.519 compared with Gene's 1:10.443.
On Day 3, a mechanical problem reduced Olivier's running to 54 laps and his best time was a 1.12.432 compared with a 1.10.587 for Ralf Schumacher.
Engine-related problems hampered progress on the fourth and final day of testing today and stopped Olivier out on track twice. He completed 60 laps in total but was unable to make the necessary progress with the tyres. As a result, his best lap time was a 1:12.841 compared with a 1:10.517 for Gene.
Whilst Valencia has been a little disappointing in terms of performance, this has been a reasonably good engineering test and the team completed the work they set out to do.
Jacques Villeneuve commented: "We have done some good set-up work in Valencia, despite the mechanical problems which affected my running time. We have to focus all our attention on Monaco now."
Olivier Panis, who bore the brunt of the problems, said: "We are putting a lot of hard work into developing the car and we have to expect some problems along the way. It is frustrating but we have to work through the problems to move forward. We now have to apply what we've learned for Monaco."
By contrast, Anthony Davidson has had a much more productive test in Jerez. He completed 185 laps in two days and posted a best time of 1:21.871.