The air temperature soared to a scorching 38Â°C at the Sakhir circuit this afternoon as Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Bahrain Grand Prix weekend got underway in Manama. As anticipated, the morning's running was largely dictated by the sand-coated...
The air temperature soared to a scorching 38°C at the Sakhir circuit this afternoon as Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Bahrain Grand Prix weekend got underway in Manama.
As anticipated, the morning's running was largely dictated by the sand-coated track which prevents the teams from acquiring any useful data until the surface has started to clean up.
Jenson Button completed only five laps of the 5.417 km circuit whilst Takuma Sato, back in the car after his enforced absence in Malaysia, completed only two laps before a gearbox problem confined him to the pits for the rest of the session. They ended the morning 9th and 20th respectively.
A slight improvement in the track conditions allowed the team to embark on its programme of tyre comparisons and to set-up the car up to suit the demands of the 12-turn Bahrain International Circuit. Jenson was able to complete 23 laps and his full run-plan.
Takuma had a spin at turn six and whilst waiting for oncoming traffic before rejoining the track, a problem with the anti-stall cut the engine leaving him stranded out on track. Once the car had been returned to the pits, Takuma was able to jump back in the car to complete two further timed laps and post the 12th fastest lap time.
"The track conditions were typically dirty so we didn't get much running this morning. This afternoon we worked through our usual programme and completed all of our test items focusing on tyre work and long run performance. We still have some work to do with the data but generally I'm pleased that we have made a generally good start to the weekend."
"It is good to be back in the car again after I was forced to miss the Malaysian Grand Prix. However, it has not been the best start to the Bahrain weekend for us. We had a gearbox problem this morning so I missed most of the session."
"Once we could get started on our programme, I experienced a rear stability problem because of the low grip and spun, then the engine cut out during the anti-stall. Despite our problems we did complete two tyre comparisons so we can carry that progress through to tomorrow."
Geoffry Willis, Technical director:
"It was rather a mixed day for the team with Jenson's day going to plan but Takuma losing his run in the first session with a gear shift problem and then losing much of the second session when he stopped after a spin when his engine stalled while he tried to pull away."
"We were able to recover the car in time for him to complete a short run at the end of the session. Although we are reasonably happy with our pace we still need to work on the set up overnight to improve the handling."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"Overall we have had a productive day and learnt a lot. Taku unfortunately didn't manage as much running as we would have liked because of the engine stall but Jenson managed a full programme."
Chassis: BAR-Honda 007-04
Practice session 1: 9th, 1:34.002
Practice session 2: 9th, 1:33.037
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-02
Practice session 1: no time
Practice session 2: 12th, 1:33.205