BAR Jerez/Idiada test summary 2003-0916/18

B*A*R TEST IN JEREZ AND IDIADA The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team was in action this week in preparation for the final two races of the season at two test venues in Spain - Jerez and Idiada. Team test driver Anthony Davidson undertook driving...


The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team was in action this week in preparation for the final two races of the season at two test venues in Spain - Jerez and Idiada.

Team test driver Anthony Davidson undertook driving duties for both days of the Idiada test on 16 and 17 September. He completed 545km of testing over the two days, concentrating on gathering data from the car to analyse handling characteristics. Despite higher than expected winds making running tricky, the team concluded the test with no technical problems.

B*A*R's third driver, Takuma Sato, took the wheel of a B*A*R Honda 005 on the first day of the Jerez test, 17 September. The main objective of his test was to evaluate the Bridgestone tyres to be used in Indianapolis. He completed 133 laps, scoring a fastest time of 1:20.417.

Jenson Button was due to test for two days on 17 and 18 September. He completed 22 laps on the first day, in the process recording a fastest time of 1:20.115. However an engine problem ended his day prematurely. There were further problems for Jenson on the second day of his test when he had an accident on his 13th lap. The 23-year-old put a wheel on the grass and his car went off the track at 270kph, at the exit of the high-speed turn four. There are no tyres at this section of the track and his car hit the barrier, damaging the suspension and the left-hand side of the car. The safety structures in place did the job very well as Jenson was unhurt in the accident, however he did bang his right knee quite hard.

Following Jenson's accident, his teammate Jacques Villeneuve was left to complete the second and third days of the test alone. On his first day in the car, Jacques completed 53 laps, with a fastest time of 1:20.939. He notched up a further 117 laps on the final day of the test, recording a fastest time of 1:20.905. Jacques' test concentrated on selecting tyres for Indianapolis, as well as evaluating the Suzuka specification engine and new aerodynamic parts.

Jacques Villeneuve on the Jerez test:

"Unfortunately we have had a very difficult test this week. Conditions weren't great at the track and we had a lot of mechanical problems and a lot of downtime on my first day which restricted our progress. In addition to tyre work, we also worked with the new Honda engine on the first day, which was promising, but we did not get much running in. Today we mainly concentrated on tyre testing and chose our tyres for Indy. We were a lot more reliable today and tried to do as many laps as we could, which enabled us to test the new aero bits as well."

Jenson Button on the Jerez test:

"Overall it wasn't a great test for me. We had a few problems on the first day and we were hoping to repeat some of the tests but unfortunately I had the accident. I was coming through turn four, which is quite a quick corner, and I put a wheel on the grass which caused the car to immediately snap out of control. I went into the Armco barrier on the left-hand side which caused quite a lot of damage to the car. As it could not be quickly repaired, I was unable to complete my final day of testing. I have minor bruising to the inside of the knee and I think it is best to rest it, but I have already had it checked and everything is fine."

Takuma Sato on the Jerez test:

"It was a perfect day's testing for me - the weather was sunny and we didn't have any mechanical problems with the car at all. It was easily the biggest test I've completed over a single day and I think we managed to get some good data from the car which will help Jacques and Jenson in Indianapolis."

Anthony Davidson on the Idiada test:

"It was quite a good test. We didn't get much mileage done on the first day but found some promising things on the final day. There wasn't a lot to the test in terms of driver input as it was quite a simple test with the aim of collecting data, but I think the team are fairly happy with the data gathered and hopefully they can make some improvements from that."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Overall the test at Jerez went well and we got lots of feedback and data that we can use in development for the final two races. It was a shame that Jenson's time in the car was cut short but we were glad to hear that he didn't have any major injuries. I'm sure he'll be back fighting fit at Indianapolis. Jacques had a solid race in Italy and we're all determined to carry the momentum forward and rack up some more points in the US."


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Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto