Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda continued to set the pace in testing this week with the completion of an intensive two-day, two-car test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Hot on the heels of last week's Barcelona test in which Jenson Button broke the...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda continued to set the pace in testing this week with the completion of an intensive two-day, two-car test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Hot on the heels of last week's Barcelona test in which Jenson Button broke the lap record, Takuma Sato and Jenson ended today at the top of the timesheets in first and second places with Takuma setting a new unofficial lap record for the Paul Ricard circuit.
Having completed almost 6000kms of back-to-back testing, the team is confident that it has met its development objectives with the introduction of new aerodynamic upgrades, whilst reliability has also been excellent.
In the knowledge that a significant step forward has been achieved, and with all its testing requirements completed in two days rather than the anticipated three, B*A*R Honda took the decision to save a day from its 30 day testing allocation and go home early. The team is looking forward to the first of the European races in Imola, where our 2005 season should really get underway.
Takuma and Enrique began the driving duties on Wednesday with both drivers conducting early set-up runs. Takuma went on to run through an evaluation of further aerodynamic upgrades, completing a total of 137 laps. Enrique concentrated on evaluating tyre options for the San Marino Grand Prix. He completed an impressive total of 182 laps with no reliability issues, which is a new team record for the number of laps completed in one day.
Jenson joined the team on Thursday, taking over from Enrique. He ran through some early set-up runs before completing an evaluation of the new aerodynamic parts, followed by a tyre programme over long runs. Jenson completed a total of 177 laps today setting the second fastest time. Takuma also ran through an intensive tyre evaluation, completing 179 laps and setting the fastest time of the day - a 01:02.839 - a new lap record at Paul Ricard.
"Today was a very good day. We got through quite a lot and the car has been responding well. We mainly focused on long performance runs and tyre testing and the progress we have shown is encouraging. I am very much looking forward to racing in Imola next week".
"It has been a very enjoyable two tests since we came back from Bahrain. We have covered many miles mainly looking at aerodynamic, engine and tyre developments and we seem to have made good progress. Many teams will also improve but we are confident that we have made a good step forward and I'm feeling very positive about the performance of the car. I'm sure we can compete with a very strong race in Imola and am looking forward to the race weekend."
"I had a very positive day yesterday and we successfully completed all of our planned test programme. The car felt good and we were right on the pace throughout the day, setting some fast lap times which I really enjoyed. I also made a new team record for the number of laps covered in one day which is very pleasing and helped us to collect a lot of data."
Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer:
"We have continued the excellent progress made last week in Barcelona with further performance improvements this week. The excellent reliability of the car has enabled us to complete our whole test programme in only two days this week. All our drivers have made positive comments on the improvements to the car since we tested here three weeks ago."
"Over the two tests since Bahrain we have completed almost 6000kms of testing which has proved extremely encouraging for the team and everyone is optimistic ahead of the first European race at Imola next week. We are also looking forward to testing in Mugello in two weeks time where we will debut further performance parts."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We've had two more productive days at Paul Ricard, with some encouraging lap times, and are looking forward to the start of the European season."