The Honda Racing F1 Team enjoyed a competitive day's running in Shanghai today as free practice got underway for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.
This morning, Anthony Davidson occupied his usual place at the sharp end of the field, ending the session in second position. With rain showers looking increasingly threatening for the second session, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello made the most of the dry track conditions to post the fastest and fifth fastest of the race driver laps.
This afternoon, the threat of rain came to fruition which made tyre comparisons difficult in the changeable conditions. The three drivers ended the day third, 11th and 16th.
"It's been quite a good day generally. The rain in the second session made it a bit difficult to work with the tyres but it was the same for everyone out there. We're competitive, the car felt nice to drive and we are looking good on the long runs as well so it's a case of so far, so good. We'll have to wait to see what the weather brings over the weekend but I think we're in reasonably good shape."
"We've achieved a lot of work considering the weather conditions and I think we're looking reasonably competitive so far. This afternoon, the conditions were pretty poor which made it difficult to conduct any meaningful tyre comparison work."
"I had a very strange day today because my car had a balance this morning and then it was changing this afternoon. So the car feels very different from run to run and we need to find out what is causing the problem. Apart from that I'm very confident that the tyres should do a good job. It's a great circuit and I think we can continue to improve here throughout the weekend so I'm reasonably happy at this stage."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Despite the slight drizzle during the second session, we were able to complete the planned programme today with all three cars. We didn't have any major issues; however there is room for improvement with the balance of both race cars, which is somewhat inconsistent at the moment. Tonight we will sit down with the Michelin engineers to look over the tyre data and help us make a difficult choice, as it appears that they brought two very good tyres to China. A good start to the weekend and we look competitive at this point."
Practice session 1: 4 laps, 1:39.217, 12th
Practice session 2: 16 laps, 1:38.276, 16th
Practice session 1: 4 laps, 1:37.291, 3rd
Practice session 2: 10 laps, 1:37.861, 11th
Practice session 1: 26 laps, 1:35.591, 2nd
Practice session 2: 30 laps, 1:35.714, 3rd