Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda switched its test programme to the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain this week as preparations continue for the new season. The four-day test with all four regular drivers has given the team its first chance to run the...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda switched its test programme to the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain this week as preparations continue for the new season. The four-day test with all four regular drivers has given the team its first chance to run the B*A*R Honda 007 car on a different style of circuit, having spent the past three weeks in Valencia.
Very little running was achieved on the first morning due to the damp conditions. When the cars did get on track, Anthony ran through a brief tyre evaluation alongside set-up work in chassis 007-01. At the start of the afternoon programme, the team suffered a rear wing failure with Takuma's 007-02 on the approach to turn one.
He spun off into the tyre barriers and whilst Takuma was unhurt, the car sustained substantial damage therefore ending his programme for the day. Investigations continue into the cause of the failure however the fault appears to be isolated to that individual component.
Anthony ran in chassis 006-06 on Wednesday, working through a tyre compound evaluation to complete an impressive 154 laps covering 680 kms. Takuma's morning running in chassis 007-01 was limited due to a gearbox problem and his afternoon was cut short when he ran wide braking into turn ten and spun off the track. The damage was not severe but substantial enough to bring an early end to his running.
Jenson joined the team on Thursday driving chassis 007-02. He ran through some early set-up runs to acclimatise himself to the car and the circuit, completing eight runs before he experienced a similar incident to Takuma's spin the previous day. He too ran wide at turn ten and hit the tyre barriers damaging the front of the car.
The mechanics did an excellent job to turn the car around and Jenson returned to the track in the afternoon to complete a short tyre evaluation alongside an aerodynamic programme. His final lap tally for the day was 72 laps. Takuma ran in chassis 006-06, completing 129 laps as he worked through a tyre evaluation programme.
On Friday, Jenson ran through an aerodynamic evaluation alongside a tyre programme, completing 129 laps and running the latest specification Honda engine to its target mileage. Enrique joined the test, driving chassis 006-06. He ran through an aerodynamic programme before completing long tyre runs, for a total of 122 laps.
After such a frustrating start to the week's programme, the team was buoyed by signs of the car's true potential on the final day of the main test. The vast majority of the team's testing to date has focused on reliability and understanding how the tyres perform under the new sporting regulations.
Today, for the first time, the team has explored the car's ultimate performance on lower fuel levels. The signs were very encouraging as Jenson set the fastest lap of the day - a 1:15.680, which was also the fastest lap of the week.
Jenson will remain in Jerez on Saturday to complete a wet test.
"The start of this week's test was a bit tough for everyone. We had an issue with the rear wing and then Takuma and I both made a mistake at the same corner and spun off. After three average days, today was a much needed improvement and we were able to complete some good tyre testing. The car felt great and was also extremely consistent which will be important for the new regulations."
"It has been a difficult week in Jerez but at the same time I feel that we have made some progress. We had a few issues, especially on the first two days, but we were able to learn a lot from these and have come out stronger. Thursday was a much more positive day for me and I completed 129 laps, which I hope provided good data to learn from. Next week, we will be back in Valencia and I am looking forward to making more progress as the clock is ticking towards the first race in Melbourne."
"I've had a contrasting couple of days of testing in Jerez this week. We did very limited running on Tuesday due to the wet track and rear wing failure. However on Wednesday, I did 154 laps in the B*A*R Honda 006 car which is set up with 2005 specification downforce. We mainly ran through long run tyre evaluations alongside systems work. It was reassuring to know that the new car feels better and is a definite improvement on last year's 006."
"I joined the team today for the fourth day of the test. We completed many laps running through long tyre evaluations and aerodynamic comparisons. I am happy with the results for today and we are continuing to make progress on our testing objectives."
Andrew Alsworth, Test Team Manager:
"This week's test in Jerez has enabled the team to focus on all aspects of the new car. Although we encountered some early problems, we have been further encouraged by the overall reliability and performance of the 007. We expected this week to give us a good idea of where we are compared to the other teams. We will now prepare the cars for next week's test in Valencia where we will continue with the planned programme."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We had an eventful first three days here, and missed out on a fair amount of running time, but have made up for the lost time with a very productive last day. We now have two more tests at Valencia to finalise our pre-season preparations."