The penultimate week of 2003 testing for the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team took place this week with all three of its drivers in action. Jenson Button and Takuma Sato took turns in driving the '04 Concept car and the B*A*R Honda 005 in Jerez,...
The penultimate week of 2003 testing for the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team took place this week with all three of its drivers in action. Jenson Button and Takuma Sato took turns in driving the '04 Concept car and the B*A*R Honda 005 in Jerez, while Anthony Davidson was at the Idiada test facility, again driving a 005.
The main objective for the Jerez test was to continue the assessment of the Concept car and evaluation of the Michelin tyres, while vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic tests were carried out at Idiada.
The test in Jerez was hampered by cold temperatures and heavy rain, despite this, however, the team was able to test Michelin wet and extreme wet tyres in conditions ranging from dry/damp through to torrential rain.
The team completed the equivalent of a race-weekend distance in the '04 Concept car with the 2004 Honda engine. The car ran virtually fault free for over 800km and the team was able to gather some very useful data. Work completed on the B*A*R Honda 005 consisted mainly of tyre evaluation and set-up work in order to improve the team's understanding of the Michelin tyres. Overall, despite the weather, the team completed over 1430km of testing over the three days.
The testing at Idiada also suffered from poor weather conditions, which delayed the initial running. However, much of the programme was completed successfully and included straight-line aerodynamic tests and curb strike testing.
"It's been mostly wet all week, but we have done some important mileage with the Honda engine and we have been very reliable, which again is very important. The small amount of dry set-up work we managed on Wednesday was very useful and, overall, I'm pleased with the times we've been setting, but I hope we can do some dry testing next week."
"We had a lot of work planned on dry weather set-up, which unfortunately had to be put to one side, and instead focused on a wet test programme as it rained terribly every day. On the positive side, we had the chance to carry out a very thorough wet condition test. I also had the first opportunity to drive the '04 Concept car, which was a very good experience; it was just a shame I didn't get to drive it in fine weather. We achieved a lot this week with the wet set-up so we are hoping now for some sunshine next week so that we can work on the dry programme."
"Over the three days in Idiada, we only managed to complete half of the planned aero programme because it was raining so much. What we did manage to do was good though, the straight line aero testing went well and the curb strike tests were very interesting too. Unfortunately you do get tests like this because you have no control over the weather. I am looking forward to testing next week though because it will be the first proper driving I've done in the car since we tested at Mugello."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"The new engine ran for a full race-weekend distance, covering over 800km of testing, which is very encouraging, as is the continued reliability of the whole rear-end of the '04 Concept car. We continued the tyre evalution in damp and fully wet conditions which provided us with useful information that we wouldn't have gathered under normal conditions. We will continue with the reliability testing next week and hopefully manage to do some dry condition work too."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We've had no major engine problems over the three days, and the new unit ran for over 800 kilometres, which is pleasing. We've got lots more data to study and are looking forward to next week's test, where will be doing more work on the engine control systems."