The Honda Racing F1 Team today concluded a three-day test at the Hockenheimring in Germany, the scene of Round 10 of the FIA Formula One World Championship which takes place next weekend. Buoyed by Rubens' podium finish in last weekend's British...
The Honda Racing F1 Team today concluded a three-day test at the Hockenheimring in Germany, the scene of Round 10 of the FIA Formula One World Championship which takes place next weekend.
Buoyed by Rubens' podium finish in last weekend's British Grand Prix, the team got back to the business of evaluating further developments to the car for the balance of the European races. The German Grand Prix will see the introduction of the team's next package of aerodynamic, engine and mechanical improvements. In addition, the drivers have been conducting general set-up work in order to get a head start for when they return to Hockenheim next weekend, with mixed weather conditions this week laying the foundations for what could be an equally variable race weekend according to early forecasts.
Alex Wurz was in the car for day one, bearing the brunt of the intermittent rain showers and very gusty wind conditions, which frustrated his progress. Nonetheless the team made the most of every opportunity to get out on track and commence the planned programme of aerodynamic and mechanical evaluations and he completed 89 laps.
Rubens Barrichello joined the team for day two of the test, which saw a gradual improvement in the weather conditions. He continued the evaluation of the new mechanical and aero parts but also took part in a 10-minute race start session from the Hockenheim grid. Rubens' day was frustrated by instability of the car under braking, despite various set-up changes to try to improve the issue. He also suffered a gearbox problem which compromised some of his afternoon session. He was able to complete the planned programme however and a total of 90 laps.
Warm and sunny conditions greeted the arrival of Jenson Button for day three of the test. He completed a total of 121 laps in a continuation of the upgrade evaluation programme, together with the simulated race starts and live refuelling where the team addressed the issues which created a problematic second pitstop for both drivers in last weekend's race. Jenson ended the day in second position in the timings.
"I experienced pretty much every extreme of weather during my one day on the track, with sun, rain and a full-blown storm changing the course of the day in a matter of minutes. At least we are prepared for any scenario next weekend! We had a big list of items to get through so we made the most of every chance to get out on track and I think we achieved some interesting tests with the engine driveability and aerodynamic developments. It made a refreshing change to test at a different venue to the typical Spanish test tracks."
"This was the first time I have tested at Hockenheim and obviously it is extremely beneficial to be able to test at a track the week prior to actually racing there. We had some problems with the braking stability which we spent a lot of time trying to fix, however most of the planned programme was positive. Hockenheim is a track that has given me a lot of pleasure in the past so I'm looking forward to next week. I think we have made a small step this week but in dry conditions we are still not as competitive as we need to be."
"My day in the car was very productive and we did a lot of useful aerodynamic work and long run comparisons with the different tyre compounds. The new parts we tested were positive and we achieved a lot during my 121 laps. As always we won't really know how much of an improvement the developments will bring until we are into the race weekend, but I'm looking forward to coming back here next week."
"We are introducing our new aero package for next weekend's race, a continuation of the developments we brought to Silverstone. The weather conditions at the last test made it difficult to fully evaluate the benefit of those developments therefore we have conducted a further review which has made this an especially busy test. We also have some improvements for engine driveability, together with mechanical changes and a new fuel system which is unrelated to the pit stop issue we encountered in Silverstone with Rubens. However, we have of course taken the opportunity to identify the cause of Sunday's issues and will revise our methods in time for the German Grand Prix. All the indications are that we have made progress here this week."