The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda test team returned to Barcelona on Sunday 2 February for a three-day test to continue their preparation for the new season. With both Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button driving the new B*A*R Honda 005 chassis, the...
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda test team returned to Barcelona on Sunday 2 February for a three-day test to continue their preparation for the new season.
With both Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button driving the new B*A*R Honda 005 chassis, the team continued work on car set-up. Jacques' first day began well although a short excursion into the gravel in the morning meant that some repair work had to be undertaken on the car. A scheduled engine change was carried out at the end of the morning, limiting Jacques' running to the last 30 minutes of the afternoon session. He completed 38 laps in total, setting the second best time of the day with 1:18.04. Jenson continued work on set-up and although mechanical teething problems took up some running time he was able to complete 52 laps with a best time of 1:18.13.
On day two, Jacques' focus was a tyre test for Bridgestone and he also carried out some brake evaluation work. He was able to cover 68 laps in total with a fastest time of 1:18.34 before his engine failed towards the end of the session. Jenson had a productive day, once again concentrating on set- up and evaluation of electronics systems before a technical problem brought his day's running to an end. He completed 64 laps in total and set the fifth fastest time of the day with 1:17.80.
On the final day today, Jacques was scheduled to complete some long runs but a mechanical problem forced him to miss most of the morning session. With this fixed he resumed running until he experienced an engine failure this afternoon. The engine was changed and Jacques was able to return to the track for the last 30 minutes of running. He covered 26 laps with a best time of 01:18.96. Jenson commenced some engine evaluation work for Honda before he too was forced to miss the remainder of the morning session with a mechanical problem. He resumed running in the afternoon, achieving 34 laps in total with a fastest time of 01:18.48.
"This week we mainly worked on putting some mileage on the car. The first day the car was very, very quick. We didn't really have any major problems, just the scheduled engine change, which took longer than expected. It was still a good day and the car responded well to the changes we introduced. The second day was mainly tyre work so we didn't concentrate on changing the set-up that much. The track kept evolving throughout the day, but because we didn't change the set-up to match the changing track conditions, the car became quite difficult to drive. Today we were focusing on long runs but we experienced some mechanical problems so we weren't able to achieve what we set out to do."
"The first two days were good because we were able to complete our basic testing objectives particularly with our aerodynamics programme. The last couple of tests have been a little up and down so it was good to complete some solid runs. We had a few problems today but generally it has been a good week and we are gradually improving reliability so I'm feeling positive."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development:
"It's been a tough test as we've had a few problems with the engine and not finished all the test items we had planned. However, we've got plenty more data to analyse and are going to use the time we have before the next test to address the problems and continue developing the engine."