Honda CEO Nick Fry talks about the season so far Q: This has been a strange season for Honda so far, with lots of ups and downs. Are you satisfied? Nick Fry: I think this season was again part of a learning. To start with testing before the ...
Honda CEO Nick Fry talks about the season so far
Q: This has been a strange season for Honda so far, with lots of ups and downs. Are you satisfied?
Nick Fry: I think this season was again part of a learning. To start with testing before the season and the first few races we were pretty good, the car was quick. But maybe we relaxed a little bit and didn't develop the car quickly enough. Against team as Renault, Ferrari or McLaren you need to develop the car very quickly. Maybe we got a little bit conservative. However we realised that, but it took a little bit of time to get back up to speed again.
Magny-Cours was the worst point, but afterwards it gradually got better and obviously winning was fantastic for the team, and also Turkey was good. here in Monza a fifth and sixth was respectable, not the best but with the engine problems that we had we were pleased with Sunday's performances. As you said, lots of ups and downs but for the team to achieve the first win was a good step in the development.
Q: You mentioned the engine failures with Davidson on Friday. Is this going to be a problem in view of the 2007 engine cooling?
Nick Fry: It's not a problem, because we now know that the problem that caused the two engines blow-up was a manifacturing problem. It was not to do with the development of the engine, it was a completely different area. In fact, the issue was in an area which has been the same all year. So it was just a simple issue, we can fix that, and then we'll be back with our new development engine in Japan.
Q: Apart from the engine, have you found any particular area which needs to be improved?
Nick Fry: Since Magny-Cours, five or six areas of the car have improved. Firstly, aerodinamics: we now have a full-time wind tunnel, which we didn't have before, and clearly this has started to contribute towards our improvement. The electronics on the car have improved, the engine has improved. We have made various mechanical parts of the car different, on the front and the rear. So it's not one area, it's maybe six areas. They've all had a small contribution, but together they are very significant.
Q: From the drivers' side, Button has finally broken the duck and this can help him also from the psychological point of view, but maybe Barrichello was not up to the expectations.
Nick Fry: No, Rubens has performed exactly as we expected. Maybe some people outside thought that he would be able to jump in the car and be as quick as Jenson very quickly. I think that was unrealistic and it was not what we expected. Rubens has huge experience, but our car is different from a Ferrari in many small areas. There are some things where we need to adjust to Rubens' style, there are some things where Rubens has to adjust his own style, and there are definitely areas where we are not as good as Ferrari. What Rubens has done is helping us to improve the car.
Rubens has been very critical for our development because firstly he helped us to improve the car from an engineering point of view, but secondly, as he is a very fast driver, he has put pressure on Jenson and the two of them actually are very similar in speed. What we saw in Monza was Rubens and Jenson in qualifying looked different, but actually they were on different strategies and their difference in speed in qualifying was exactly the same as the fuel effect so they ended the race one in front of the other. The two drivers are pretty much identical.
Q: Will Davidson go to Super Aguri?
Nick Fry: If Super Aguri would like Anthony, we would be very pleased, because he deserves a chance. Obviously both Aguri and Anthony have to decide. But we would like very much Anthony to drive for Aguri because he's done a great job for us and he deserves to show the world what he can do.
Q: In that case, who would replace him?
Nick Fry: We've had a number of offers or approaches, but we haven't made a decision yet. Obviously we have James Rossiter who has been testing with us but probably we need someone else as well, maybe someone with more experience. We are open to offers.
Q: Next year there will be the single tyre supplier, so you'll have to step again to Bridgestone. Will this be a problem in the first few races?
Nick Fry: No, I don't think it'll be a problem at all, because the tyre that Bridgestone will offer for Formula One will be different for everybody. The tyres that are currently used by Bridgestone and Michelin are very difficult and expensive to manifacture and I believe the construction that Bridgestone will use will be somewhat simpler because they'll supply the whole scene and it will be the same for everybody in terms of changing. Moreover, we were running on Bridgestone tyres quite recently, and we know the changes we had to make to go from Bridgestone to Michelin and I think we'll be able to switch back relatively easily.
Q: Which are your goals for the end of this year and next year?
Nick Fry: In the next three races I want to achieve at least one more podium. I want in every race to have both cars in the points, and we should be able to do that in the last three races. Next year we need to challenge for the championship.
Q: Is there a particular race where you think you have more chances to reach the podium?
Nick Fry: It's a very difficult problem, because Rubens would like us to win in Sao Paolo and Honda would like us to win in Japan. So the easiest solution is to win in both.