The Honda Racing F1 Team concluded its 2006 testing programme at the Jerez circuit in Spain today. Christian Klien and James Rossiter shared the testing duties this week, with IndyCar driver Marco Andretti joining the team on Friday for his first drive in a Formula One car.
Christian and James began the test on Wednesday with both drivers concentrating on chassis set-up work and long tyre runs as the evaluation of the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres continues. Christian completed 123 laps with James finishing the day on 97 laps.
On Thursday, Christian spent the morning continuing the chassis programme whilst James concentrated on new tyre runs, followed by an aero evaluation. For the afternoon session, both drivers completed further long tyre runs with excellent reliability allowing Christian to achieve 113 laps and James 117 laps in total.
James continued the testing programme on Friday morning with further chassis work covering 66 laps. Christian took over the car after the lunch break to continue the programme, running for a further 56 laps.
"I focused on doing long runs at this test to see how the tyres were working over longer distances. I also did a lot of work on the controls where we found some improvements. I am feeling much more familiar now working with the team and driving the car after the three weeks of testing. Physically I felt very good after two and a half days in the car and look forward to driving again in January."
"We have had a very productive three days for our final test of the year. We are continuing to develop our understanding about the tyres all the time and the car has been very reliable so we were able to cover a lot of laps every day. Hopefully all the data collected will help us in the development of next year's car."
Mark Ellis - Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance:
"This week we have continued our programme of understanding the Bridgestone tyres, primarily focusing on long runs. Over the last three weeks, the impressive reliability of the RA106 has allowed us to complete 8000kms on the new specification tyres. This has been a successful start to our winter test campaign and also a fitting way to end the year."
"The whole team has contributed enormously to the progress we have made and we are looking forward a short break before resuming testing in January. It has been a pleasure to give Marco Andretti his first drive in a Formula One car today; he approached the day in a mature and professional manner well in advance of his years and performed well."