In an exhaustive two-car, three-day, four-driver test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda broke its own lap record - set over a year ago by Takuma Sato - and completed 719 laps reliably, the equivalent to...
In an exhaustive two-car, three-day, four-driver test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda broke its own lap record - set over a year ago by Takuma Sato - and completed 719 laps reliably, the equivalent to over 11 Grand Prix distances.
This week's test focused on aerodynamic upgrades, running the latest specification engine from Honda and completing a full evaluation programme with tyre partner Michelin. The test provided a big boost for everyone at B*A*R Honda who have worked tirelessly on performance improvements for the start of the European season.
Jenson and Anthony started the test on Wednesday driving chassis 007-01 and the new chassis 007-05 respectively. After both drivers completed early set-up runs, Jenson worked exclusively on aerodynamic upgrade evaluations to complete a total of 109 laps.
Anthony concentrated on evaluating tyre options for the Spanish Grand Prix, whilst also running the engine to its target mileage. He completed a very impressive 143 laps.
Jenson remained in chassis 007-01 on Thursday and continued his aerodynamic evaluation. He completed 141 laps setting the fastest time of the day - a 01:13.552, a new lap record for the Circuit de Catalunya.
Takuma joined the test driving chassis 007-05. He spent the early part of the morning on set-up runs, followed by a tyre evaluation which he continued into the afternoon, completing a total of 121 laps.
With Takuma's programme completed, and making the most of the track time available, Enrique took over for the last ninety minutes working mainly on the set-up of the car, completing 21 laps.
Takuma and Enrique continued the driving responsibilities on Friday with Takuma remaining in chassis 007-05 and Enrique moving to chassis 007-01. With the rain coming down intermittently throughout the day, both drivers ran through an intermediate wet tyre programme.
Enrique ran for a total of 65 laps taking the engine past its target mileage before it finally failed. He did not run again having completed his day's objectives. By late afternoon, the track had dried sufficiently to move onto grooved tyres and Takuma ran through an aerodynamic evaluation. He completed a total of 129 laps today.
"It was a very busy test this week and I completed 250 laps over the two days. We focused mostly on reliability and aerodynamic work, trying out the new parts on the car, whilst the other car was doing all the tyre testing. The test went reasonably well and we have made a step forward."
"It's difficult to know how big a step in relation to everybody else but we've tried lots of different parts on the car and think we've found the best way forward. It was nice to break the lap record at the end of the day on Thursday."
"It was a very good test this week. We did a lot of working for the aerodynamics and tyres. Mainly I did tyre work on my first day and it's good to see we made some progress with our performance and we are up on the top of the timesheets."
"Today unfortunately it was raining but we did some encouraging wet tyre testing. It was a bit of a mixture as we had dry runs as well so we tried some different set-ups. It was a very positive test and we need to carry this on to next week at Paul Ricard."
"It was a good day for me on Wednesday as I covered 143 laps, some 663 kms, which is the most laps the team has ever covered around Barcelona on a single day. We concentrated on tyre testing, looking at the option and prime compounds for the Spanish Grand Prix."
"We got some positive results and the car was handling well all day. I posted a pretty good time towards the end of the session so overall it was a positive day for me."
"This is the first test where I have had the opportunity to drive the new B*A*R Honda 007 car properly. I had two short runs yesterday on old tyres before starting this morning in the dry conditions."
"We started on warm-up runs but the rain came down quite early so we got into our wet test programme which we managed to complete on the intermediate tyres. The new car felt good to drive, it was a better feeling than the Concept car."
Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer:
"This week has been an extremely positive test for us. The whole team has worked impressively to prepare the cars to the highest standards each day and both cars have proven to be very reliable which has enabled us to get through a huge amount of work."
"We have worked solidly on the performance of the car and have made definite progress. We will continue this programme at Paul Ricard next week where we will make further preparations and introduce further new parts before the first European race at Imola."
"This week we have also completed greater than the required two-race event mileage on three different engines, which is a big boost for everyone at Honda. Everyone at B*A*R Honda is working tirelessly to get us back to the front of the grid."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We made good progress with the engine this week and will continue pushing forward at Paul Ricard next week."