END OF TEST REPORT The Honda Racing F1 Team completed the three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today as the team continues its preparations for the start of the 2008 Formula One season in Australia on 16 March. Rubens and...
END OF TEST REPORT
The Honda Racing F1 Team completed the three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today as the team continues its preparations for the start of the 2008 Formula One season in Australia on 16 March.
Rubens and Alex began the test programme on Monday on a track surface that was damp and slippery following overnight rain. Both drivers ran through a qualifying simulation in the morning, running on the extreme wet and wet Bridgestone tyres in changing conditions. The circuit dried sufficiently to allow dry running in the afternoon with Rubens and Alex successfully completing full race distances with pit stops. Rubens covered 115 laps over the day with Alex totalling 109 laps.
Jenson joined Rubens at the wheel of the RA108s on Tuesday morning with the test programme continuing to focus on qualifying and race practice. Neither driver was able to complete their full race distances on this occasion as running was brought to an early conclusion with two different issues stopping the cars on their second stints. The team have identified the cause of the problems and will be implementing the required fixes. Jenson completed 66 laps with Rubens covering 73 laps.
The final day of the test on Wednesday saw Alex back in the car running alongside Jenson. The drivers spent the morning working on the set-up and handling of the car, alongside a race start programme, before working through a further race simulation exercise in the afternoon. Jenson completed 89 laps with Alex finishing the day on 109 laps.
The team will complete its pre-season preparations at a private test at the Jerez circuit from Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 March.
"I was able to complete a lot of laps over the two days, particularly with the race distance on Monday. We had a minor concern with the engine on Tuesday which cut my race distance short but the issue is easy to address. We are finding that the performance of the car is quite varied as I had a different reaction from the car over the two days so we have some set-up work to complete. It is too early to make a final comment on performance as we have our new aero update kit to evaluate next week."
"Our focus this week was to run through the requirements of a race weekend with qualifying and race practice to ensure that we are well prepared for the start of the season. Our main aero updates and some new mechanical developments will arrive for the Jerez test next week and we have a great deal to do there to ensure that we are in a position to be competitive for Melbourne. We have been doing a lot of work to overcome our handling issues but the pace and the lap times are not there yet."
"On Monday, we completed a full race distance, along with the opportunity to drive in the wet conditions, which was very useful for working on engine drivability. We have made some good steps on the drivability over the last few tests which is pleasing. The programme for Wednesday concentrated on set-up evaluations and suspension development which proved to be very interesting and we gained a lot of understanding and data which we will work on processing before the start of the season."
Steve Clark - Head of Race & Test Engineering
"The focus of our test programme this week was to run through qualifying and race scenarios in preparation for the start of the season with our race drivers, pit crew and equipment. Running the car over a race distance and tightly timed practice sessions highlights any reliability concerns and ensures the team are familiar with the car and its workings. This all went well with race practices on all three days and qualifying simulations on Monday and Tuesday. We also completed an evaluation of revised suspension settings on Wednesday morning to address the handling concerns that the RA108 has been experiencing, which produced some positive results. We now have a three-day test in Jerez next week, where we will be running with a completely revised aerodynamic package, to finalise our pre-season preparation."