BAR005 debuts at Barcelona test 2003-01-15

Positive track debut for B*A*R Honda 005 Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's 2003 challenger made its testing debut at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today, after the official launch of the B*A*R Honda 005 in the city yesterday. Jenson Button...

Positive track debut for B*A*R Honda 005

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's 2003 challenger made its testing debut at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today, after the official launch of the B*A*R Honda 005 in the city yesterday.

Jenson Button got his first taste of the new car's potential and gave it a thorough shakedown on day one of a three-day programme for the team (15-17 January). He ran through initial systems and reliability checks ahead of two further days of set-up work.

Button completed 30 laps (142 kms) and achieved an unofficial fastest lap time of 1:18.4.

Commenting on his first day's running in the B*A*R Honda 005, Jenson Button said: "Today has been a good start. It's difficult to judge the car in performance terms because we haven't really started on our set-up work, but generally I'm very pleased with what we've achieved today. This is the first time we've run the new engine and we've mainly focused on reliability and checking things through."

"I feel really comfortable. I've been working with my race team crew today as well as the test team, which is obviously very useful. It looks like the team are in a position to do some good testing during the rest of the week so I'm looking forward to looking at the data they collect for when I'm back in the car next week."

B*A*R Technical Director, Geoffrey Willis, was optimistic at the end of a productive first day's running. "We've given the car a very good shakedown today and we're encouraged by what we've found so far. We were able to achieve most of what we had planned in terms of runs before the day was cut short when the car stopped out on the circuit."

"Today's programme was mainly concerned with systems and pressure checks as well as vibration measurement - the usual checklist with a new car. We have a new carbon rear suspension so we were also monitoring temperatures around the back of the car."

"Out of the box the car has been reliable so far, which is the best sign we could hope for at this stage. We haven't done any real set-up work today so have yet to begin investigating the car's performance potential. The task continues tomorrow when Anthony Davidson will be able to provide us with our first full comparison between this year's car and the B*A*R Honda 004. If we continue like this for the rest of the week then I think we have good reason to feel encouraged at this early stage."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development, commented: "We've had a very good shakedown test today. As with all first tests we've had one or two teething troubles, but the B*A*R Honda 005 and the new engine have performed well and it's good to see Jenson driving the new car. We're all looking forward to the season ahead."

Test driver Anthony Davidson takes over for day two of the test tomorrow and third driver Takuma Sato will complete the team's programme on Friday.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto