The Honda Racing F1 Team had a solid opening day of practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone today with both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ending the day inside the top 10 on the timesheets. This morning, the two RA108 cars had...
The Honda Racing F1 Team had a solid opening day of practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone today with both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ending the day inside the top 10 on the timesheets.
This morning, the two RA108 cars had completed a total of 11 laps when a rear suspension problem was identified on Rubens' car which required further investigation. As a precaution, both cars remained in the garage whilst this was underway.
By the start of session two, with the cause of the suspension problem rectified, both cars took to the track in earnest. Jenson completed a total of 39 laps and set a fastest lap of 1:20.929, placing him seventh. Rubens completed 33 laps, ending the session just 0.1s behind his team-mate, and in 10th position.
The team will now examine all the data from today, as well as that from the three-day test at the Silverstone circuit last week, to finalise set-up and strategy ahead of tomorrow's final practice and qualifying sessions.
Weather: Mild and sunny with a strong breeze
Q. How did the remainder of the day go after losing all of your running time this morning?
A. "I love the Silverstone circuit, so I was disappointed not to have run the first session today due to the problem that we had with the rear suspension. The second session this afternoon was positive with some good feedback from a well-balanced car. We don't know where our performance puts us in relation to our competitors yet, however I am confident of a much better weekend than in Magny Cours."
Q. What progress did you make in practice today?
A. "We achieved some useful information from our test programme today, even though the wind has moving been around all afternoon and we lost the majority of our running time this morning. We have a good understanding of the tyres, both the prime and the option, but there is still a lot of work to do as we are not entirely happy with the balance. We may be seventh on the timesheets today but that doesn't necessarily reflect our level of competitiveness, and we have a lot to achieve overnight to set ourselves up for qualifying."
Head of Race & Test Engineering
Q. What was the issue which kept both cars in the garage this morning?
A. "Rubens had a rear suspension failure at the start of the first practice session. We therefore took the precaution of keeping Jenson's car in the garage until we had fully investigated the issue. The part in question is not a new design nor is it a high mileage component so the failure was quite unusual. Whilst tests are ongoing back at the factory, we have confirmed that the design has a generous safety margin. For the second session, we fitted new parts to both cars which have undergone a repeat of the quality control processes at the factory."
Q. How are your new developments translating to the track here?
A. "We are confident that the new parts that we have on the car following last week's test have improved our performance. It is difficult to assess this against our competitors today as different fuel strategies will have been in place, therefore we would need a dry qualifying to really provide the answer. However, having both cars in the top ten at the end of today would suggest that we have made a genuinely positive step."
Q. The forecast predicts rain for the weekend. How will this affect the race?
A. "The latest information is that rain is certain for Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying in the wet is a challenge as the track conditions are constantly changing and it opens up the possibility that quicker cars may fall out in the early sessions, creating a mixed-up grid which would make for an exciting race. A wet race would be good for our team as both Jenson and Rubens relish driving in the wet. As you would expect more cars to drop out over the course of a wet race, we would hope to take advantage of the conditions."