BAR Paul Ricard test summary 2004-03-24/26

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda has been testing again this week. Using the '04 Concept car, and a new B*A*R Honda 006, race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, and third driver Anthony Davidson, all took on driving...

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda has been testing again this week. Using the '04 Concept car, and a new B*A*R Honda 006, race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, and third driver Anthony Davidson, all took on driving duties at the Paul Ricard test circuit in Southern France.

Testing alongside rivals Williams, Renault, McLaren and Toyota, the team utilised the technical 10-turn, 4.153km circuit, to prepare for the forthcoming races in Bahrain and Imola. The test was focused on aerodynamic development, suspension and brake work, and intensive tyre testing concentrating on compound selection for the start of the European season.

The team followed up its impressive performance in Malaysia with a very positive test, completing a total of 2350kms over the three days. Takuma shook down the new B*A*R Honda 006 on Wednesday, completing over 450km and setting the third fastest time. On the same day, Anthony set the second fastest time of the day in the '04 Concept car.

Jenson joined the test on Thursday, taking the wheel of the B*A*R Honda 006, with Takuma switching to the '04 Concept car. He completed the full test programme for the day and set the fastest time. On the final day, Jenson remained in the B*A*R Honda 006, with Anthony resuming testing duties in the '04 Concept car. Jenson once again recorded the fastest time of the day.

B*A*R's next stop will be in the Middle East for next weekend's inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix, round three of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Jenson Button:

"It has been a really good test for me. We have had no reliability problems and have again been on the pace. We have done a lot of good work with the tyres choice for Imola, and also some aero revisions and engine improvements for Bahrain. It's good to see we are still consistent and I'm looking forward to getting to Bahrain and getting back on the race track."

Takuma Sato:

"The first day was very good, as we did a lot of mileage on the new engine, which we are hopefully taking to Bahrain, and completed a lot of laps. The second day was a little more difficult as we had a few minor technical problems, which meant we did not do as many laps as we would have liked. We did still manage to complete some important tyre testing. We have done a lot of good preparation for Bahrain now, and I am looking forward to racing again."

Anthony Davidson:

"We had a very good first day, completing 127 laps, and doing a lot of really good tyre work, finding some good results for Imola. This morning was going well; we did some set-up work but then had a couple of engine problems and had to finish early, so we didn't get as much done as we had planned. Jenson's car ran very well though so there are a lot of positives from this test. Our pace has been good throughout, and I ended up second fastest on the first day. I'm now looking forward to Bahrain - it's always fun to go to a new circuit as it's a level playing field for everyone, and I think we have prepared as well as we can."

Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer:

"We have had an excellent test with the brand new B*A*R Honda 006 chassis testing and our '04 concept car, completing almost 2500kms in three days. We have successfully tested new aero and suspension parts, and have further engine developments for Bahrain. Our comprehensive tyre test with Michelin, concentrating on compounds for Imola and beyond was also very positive. It's good to see we are continuing our development to consolidate our strong start to the season."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"We've successfully completed the planned mileage on the Bahrain specification engine, and lap times have been reasonably good, so it's been a productive test. Now we are looking forward to the new challenge of the Bahrain race."

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