The Honda Racing F1 Team completed the first of two consecutive weeks of testing at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain today in preparation for the final three races of the 2006 Formula One season in China, Japan and Brazil. It will be an...
The Honda Racing F1 Team completed the first of two consecutive weeks of testing at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain today in preparation for the final three races of the 2006 Formula One season in China, Japan and Brazil. It will be an intensive fortnight for the team which began this week with the test programme concentrating on the tyre choices for the Chinese Grand Prix and the running of aerodynamic, electronic and engine updates.
Rubens Barrichello and Anthony Davidson began the test on Wednesday completing some early set-up work to find a good balance as the circuit cleaned up throughout the morning. Both drivers then focused on tyre programmes looking at the options for China, alongside an aero evaluation on Anthony's car and electronic systems work for Rubens. Anthony completed 126 laps and Rubens finished the day with 114 laps.
Following overnight rain, the circuit remained damp on Thursday morning which limited any meaningful early running. James Rossiter joined the test and spent the day developing the set-up of his car and working on a further tyre programme, completing 101 laps. Rubens worked on an aero evaluation before spending the afternoon looking at the best of the China tyre options from the previous day. Although an electrical problem briefly interrupted his running towards the end of the day, Rubens completed 80 laps and set the fastest time of the day.
Anthony was back in the car for the final day of the test today and enjoyed a very productive day working on the China tyre options over longer runs, alongside an aero programme. James also focused on further tyre work alongside some electronic check runs. The two drivers finished the day at the top of the timesheets with Anthony completing an impressive 161 laps and setting the fastest time, and James covering 108 laps and finishing with the second fastest time of the day.
"We had quite a bit of set-up work to do this week to prepare for the final races. On the first day, it was difficult to find a good balance but the car was very reliable so we completed a lot of laps. On Thursday I was able to change the set-up and felt much happier with the balance that we found. We concentrated on the tyres for China along with aero and electronics work and I feel very positive about our performance and think that we will be competitive for the final three races."
"We spent the first day of the test looking at the tyres for China along with some aero work. Unfortunately the conditions were not ideal because it was quite windy and everyone was struggling to find a good balance. Today was much better and allowed us to really get the maximum out of the car; it was an excellent day's testing. We did some good aero comparisons and an intensive tyre programme over long runs, both of which gave us some positive results. Reliability has also been excellent this week and I covered a lot of laps on both days with no problems at all."
"We've had a good couple of days testing this week. I concentrated mainly on set-up and aero work, alongside some tyre and electronics testing. Both days went very well with no problems so it's been a good week and hopefully we can carry that over into next week's test."
Mark Ellis - Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance:
"The first of our back to back tests at Jerez has been extremely successful this week. The outstanding reliability of the RA106 car and the RA806 engine and excellent work by the team has allowed us to complete our planned test programme without any issues and in generally good circuit conditions. The drivers have been happy with the grip and balance of the car, setting encouraging lap times. Our chassis and electronics updates are showing positive results and we have completed a comprehensive tyre programme with our partner Michelin, resulting in some good solutions for Shanghai. We return to Jerez again next week to complete our test programme for the 2006 season."