After a three-week break from the racetrack, B*A*R Honda returned today refreshed, on form and eager to embrace the challenge of the six remaining races. The team has made a promising start on day one of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix weekend as...
After a three-week break from the racetrack, B*A*R Honda returned today refreshed, on form and eager to embrace the challenge of the six remaining races. The team has made a promising start on day one of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix weekend as the drivers got their first taste of running at the brand new Istanbul Park circuit.
This morning, Jenson Button was the fifth fastest runner and the third fastest of the race drivers who will continue through to Sunday's 58-lap race. He maintained this position at the end of the second session.
Takuma was 9th at the end of the morning's running. He concentrated on tyre evaluation and set-up work in the afternoon but ended the day 10th. This puts both cars inside the top 10 on the team's first outing in Istanbul with Jenson and Taku enjoying the characteristics of this undulating 3.317 mile circuit.
"I enjoyed my first real taste of the new circuit and I think it has a very good layout. There are certain areas that are a little bit bumpy - especially braking into Turn 12, the last complex of corners - but generally it feels quite exciting to drive."
"It will certainly be interesting in racing conditions, when the weather is expected to be much hotter than we've experienced here today. We completed our entire planned programme today and our performance was reasonably good, so I think that we should be able to expect a promising weekend ahead."
"It was a good session today and it was exciting to be on a new and quite challenging circuit. I think that they have done a very good job with the track design. We ran through our usual Friday programme with no issues, so it is now important for us to look at the data and discuss with Michelin where we go from here. We had relatively strong pace today which is a good sign for us for tomorrow, so I am really looking forward to it."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"We have had a good start to the weekend at this interesting and challenging circuit. Despite the newness of the surface, the grip has been reasonable and we worked to a get a good balance on the cars. Although many others had off-track excursions, neither driver had any problems learning the circuit."
"Both cars completed their full programmes without any issues, so now we have to assess all the information we have for the very important task of selecting the race tyres. The car appears to be quite competitive here so we are looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying and the race."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"It is always important to do a lot of work on the Friday at a new circuit. Today has been good for us in that both drivers have completed their programmes and we have a good platform for the rest of the weekend."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Free Practice 1 Position: 5th
Fastest lap time: 1:28.968
Free Practice 2 Position: 5th
Fastest lap time: 1:27.346
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-05
Free Practice 1 Position: 9th
Fastest lap time: 1:30.050
Free Practice 2 Position: 10th
Fastest lap time: 1:28.081