The Honda Racing F1 Team's on-track preparations for Sunday's French Grand Prix got underway at the Circuit de Nevers today, with the first day of free practice running. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello completed a total of 110 laps and ended...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's on-track preparations for Sunday's French Grand Prix got underway at the Circuit de Nevers today, with the first day of free practice running. Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello completed a total of 110 laps and ended the day in 17th and 19th positions respectively.
There has been no Formula One testing at the 4.411km (2.741-mile) track since last year's race, so the engineers and drivers had an extensive programme of testing items for today's three hours of track time. Initially, the asphalt was quite slippery and strong cross winds throughout the day made it difficult to balance the cars.
In the morning, Rubens completed 25 laps to set a fastest time of 1:17.491s which left him amongst the midfield group but 0.5s ahead of his team-mate. In the afternoon, it was a role reversal for the drivers when Jenson was the faster of the two, with a best lap of 1:17.244s.
Weather: Warm and dry
Q. Talk us through the programme for today's free practice sessions?
A. "It was a busy day as we had a number of items to evaluate on the car to find the best set-up for this track. Although the track conditions improved in the afternoon, we were not able to make as much progress as we hoped over the course of the day. We were expecting the car to perform better around this circuit, however it is evident that we have some work to do to get the balance right. Although we may have been running a different programme to our competitors, I think today reflects that we will be competing in the midfield pack this weekend."
Q. How did your practice running go today?
A. "It was a productive day today and we were able to achieve good mileage over the two sessions. We made progress during the course of the day and I felt happier with the car this afternoon. Unfortunately we were still lacking pace, which was a surprise as we were hoping to be challenging the top ten here in France."
Head of Race & Test Engineering
Q. How was the team's first day of running in Magny Cours?
A. "A challenging day, but all is not lost. The lap times may not reflect the true pace of our cars today. Neither car had all the elements in place at the same time to put a lap together. We were making some fairly significant changes to the cars looking for a balance. It has to be said that we were expecting to have a better car than we had today."
Q. What can you do to make progress during the remainder of the weekend?
A. "As usual we will be looking at all the information carefully in order to try to improve the car for tomorrow. It is important that our approach is calm and methodical."