Fukuda debuts on day 3 in Valencia Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda Valencia, Spain Driver - Chassis, Laps, Best Time Olivier Panis - BAR004/01, 102, 1.13.439 Jacques Villeneuve - BAR004/02, 75, 1.13.566 Ryo Fukuda - BAR003/08, 62, 1.15.419 Weather ...
Fukuda debuts on day 3 in Valencia
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda
Driver - Chassis, Laps, Best Time
Olivier Panis - BAR004/01, 102, 1.13.439
Jacques Villeneuve - BAR004/02, 75, 1.13.566
Ryo Fukuda - BAR003/08, 62, 1.15.419
Temperatures Track: 18ºC Air: 14ºC
Day three saw a further steady progression for Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda as Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve continued to test the mettle of their new BAR004s. Olivier's main focus today was car set-up evaluation while Jacques picked up from where he left off with the race simulation that was halted yesterday.
Olivier's best lap - a 1.13.439 - was within 0.8 of Michael Schumacher, who headed up the times with a 1.12.672. Jacques completed 75 laps during a relatively trouble-free morning but his 004/02 suffered a mechanical glitch at the start of the afternoon's running. He was unable to achieve any further laps and the team retired the car mid-afternoon to concentrate on solving the problem.
New signing Ryo Fukuda commenced his first test for the team today and got a taste of last year's BAR003 just 10 minutes into the session. He spent the morning concentrating on car and track familiarisation but once he was comfortable in the car, Ryo began to work on improving his lap times. He completed 31 laps in the morning and achieved a very respectable fastest lap time of 1.15.597. This afternoon he put in a further 31 laps and improved his time to a 1.15.419.
"I had a very good day today and I'm happy with the progress we've made on the set-up and tyre testing. Honda are improving the engine step-by-step and the reliability of the car has been good, which is important for the first three Grands Prix in particular because we need early points. We have one final day tomorrow to try some different things but I have had a very positive test so far."
"Today was a little disappointing because I stayed on to make up for the lack of running yesterday. We encountered some problems which are nothing serious but they have cost us quite a bit of track time. Generally the car still feels good so I'm looking ahead to Barcelona now."
"It's been a long time since I drove a racecar - it was the Formula 3 race in Macau. My first impressions of the B.A.R were that it was very fast and I was quite surprised by how powerful the engine felt. I was feeling very comfortable in the car so when I first went out I drove 5 or 6 laps before coming into the pits. We did a routine check then I went straight back out and started to feel that I was getting used to the car a little more. I tried a practice launch start and had a minor problem - nothing too bad. My morning session was then cut short when the car stopped out on the circuit."
"I spun once this afternoon because I tried to push a little hard but afterwards I had no further problems. My seat was uncomfortable for a while but generally I felt confident in the car. We tried a lot of things so it was very interesting for me because I've never driven a racecar with an automatic gearbox for example. This afternoon I worked on the brake development programme and the team plan to continue with that tomorrow. I'm happy with my first day and feel good about what I've achieved so far. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I'd like to do more laps and talk to the engineers a little more so I can feed back what I'm learning."
Steve Farrell, Chief Engineer:
"We've had another good day so we're feeling cautiously optimistic about the progress we've made since the first test in Barcelona. Both drivers completed a programme of Bridgestone tyre testing today and set some very encouraging times. We hope that Olivier will consolidate all we've learned here on our final day tomorrow. We were very pleased with Ryo's first-day progress. We allowed the morning for him to settle into learning the circuit and working with us but he steadily built up to a very respectable lap time. This afternoon he continued with some of the brake development work which Anthony Davidson began earlier in the test."