BAR Paul Ricard test summary 2003-05-07/09

B*A*R COMPLETES THREE-DAY TEST AT PAUL RICARD Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed an intensive three-day test at Paul Ricard today. On duty for the team were Jenson Button, third driver Takuma Sato and test driver Anthony Davidson. The team ran...

B*A*R COMPLETES THREE-DAY TEST AT PAUL RICARD

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda completed an intensive three-day test at Paul Ricard today. On duty for the team were Jenson Button, third driver Takuma Sato and test driver Anthony Davidson. The team ran alongside Sauber, the only other Bridgestone runner in attendance, Williams, McLaren, Renault, Toyota and Jaguar.

Jenson concentrated on tyre testing on day one, running tyres for both Austria and Monaco. He had to sit out part of the afternoon as a problem necessitated an engine change. Overall he completed 89 laps with a best time of 1:13.769. Tyre testing continued for Jenson on day two, along with aerodynamics evaluation and engine testing. He completed 116 almost trouble-free laps with a best time of 1:13.60.

"From a reliability point of view, today has been really good as we did so many laps. We had a problem with the engine yesterday which stopped us for a while, but otherwise we have been doing a lot of tyre and engine testing and also running with some aerodynamic developments."

Anthony hadn't driven the B*A*R Honda 005 since March so his first runs on day one were designed to get himself back up to speed. He then went straight into a full programme of aerodynamic testing in order to assess developments for the next few races. He completed 72 laps on day one with a best time of 1:14.041.

Anthony re-joined the test on day three and set about a further tyre test in the morning. He was confined to the garage until late afternoon by an engine problem but was able to bring his day's running up to 67 laps when he rejoined the track. His fastest lap of the day was a 1:13.97. He commented:

"It was a bit of a culture shock getting back into an F1 car after my Le Mans test but I was pleased to find that my fitness level hasn't dropped off at all. Day one was excellent as we did a lot of running, although the strong wind made aero testing difficult. Day three was a little more trying but it was good to be back behind the wheel again."

Takuma joined the test on day two for his first ever run at Paul Ricard. The Ricard circuit is rather unique as it has no gravel traps and only asphalt run-off areas, so it normally takes a driver some time to adjust to the conditions. However, Taku took this in his stride and was soon on the pace.

He spent his first day concentrating on aerodynamics and tyre testing and ran with a HANS device for the first time. He completed a total of 109 laps with a fastest time of 1:13.16. On day three, he worked through a further tyre programme in the morning but a mechanical problem prevented him running during the afternoon. His best time was a 1:12.28 and he completed 61 laps.

"As always I'm loving the driving and I have to say that the facilities here are very impressive. The circuit itself is pretty good and I enjoyed learning it. Day two was very encouraging as we did a lot of laps, testing new developments. We had a few problems on day three but even with those we managed to get through a great deal of our programme. All in all it was a productive test."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development, commented, "We've had an up and down test but on balance I think we've learnt a lot, and we can take that knowledge forward to the race in Austria."

Conditions have been warm and sunny throughout the test but with strong winds on day one. The wind dropped for the remainder of the test, which aided accurate aerodynamic testing. Over the course of the three days, the team covered a total of 515 laps - some 2136 kilometres.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Williams