Following their 5th podium finish of the 2004 season at the European Grand Prix, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda have been back on track testing at Silverstone and Monza this week. Assuming the driving duties in the B*A*R Honda 006 at Silverstone were...
Following their 5th podium finish of the 2004 season at the European Grand Prix, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda have been back on track testing at Silverstone and Monza this week. Assuming the driving duties in the B*A*R Honda 006 at Silverstone were race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, whilst third driver Anthony Davidson, attended Monza in Italy.
The test programmes focused on engine development as well as intensive tyre testing for the US and British Grands Prix.
The team began Day 1 (Tuesday) of their three-day test at Silverstone with Takuma Sato at the wheel of chassis 006-01. Unfortunately a transmission failure caused Takuma to stop out on the circuit during his installation lap which brought a very early conclusion to the morning's running. Takuma rejoined later in afternoon with a Canadian Grand Prix engine programme, completing 14 laps for the day.
Takuma's programme for the morning of Day 2 (Wednesday) was to evaluate the tyre options available for the British Grand Prix. On completing a total of 72 laps, he set the fastest time of the morning - a 1:18.091 - before a gearbox problem forced him to stop out on the circuit, resulting in the afternoon session being postponed. However, Takuma maintained the fastest time of the day.
On the final day (today) at Silverstone, Jenson took over the driving duties to set a new lap record of 1.17.856. He evaluated the tyres selected from the longer runs tested by Takuma on Day 2 and went on to complete a total of 109 laps, setting the third fastest time of the day.
Anthony Davidson was driving chassis 006-02 during the three-day test at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. His first day (Tuesday) was interrupted by a drive problem and the wet weather that followed in the afternoon only allowed him to complete a total of 49 laps. He still achieved the third fastest time of the day, whilst running an aerodynamic and tyre programme for the US Grand Prix.
During Day 2 (Wednesday), Anthony ran a further tyre programme and set the fastest time of the day - a 1:20.608 during the morning session. He continued to run the tyre evaluation during the afternoon and completed an impressive total of 123 laps (717km).
On the final day, Anthony's progress was hampered by cooling and electrical problems, but he was still able to achieve the fourth fastest time of the day.
"It's good to test at Silverstone. I love the place. It's the first quick circuit we have been to since Barcelona, so it's good to see the car working very well here. As usual we are quick over one lap. Looking at Ferrari's pace over long runs they are very strong, but we've found a few things that we are happy with and they are going to help our pace over long runs on this type of circuit. We should be a lot more competitive in Canada and a lot closer to the Ferraris. The Honda engine felt very good during the test, so I am really looking forward to the next race in Montreal."
"It is a shame that we had such dismal weather for the first day of our test at Silverstone. On the second day I had a good test running the new Honda engine spec until we suffered a transmission forced us to stop during a tyre evaluation programme. We had completed 80% of the planned test however, so I am happy with the result and for recording the fastest time of the day."
"On our first test day at Monza we were not able to clock up many laps due to the poor weather conditions, however the balance of the car felt good. The second day of the test was the best by far; the car felt good and we recorded the fastest lap of the day - a 1:20.608 - completing 123 laps. We also collected a lot of data from a very constructive Michelin test, so I am confident in the tyre choice that we have made for Indianapolis."
Andrew Alsworth, Test Team Manager:
"Overall we have run good tests both here at Silverstone and in Monza. At Silverstone, we've worked through a very constructive tyre test programme with Michelin, evaluating the tyre options for the forthcoming British Grand Prix. With the wet weather on Tuesday and some minor mechanical issues, Takuma and Jenson had to rely on each other's input to the select the tyre options available. We also ran an engine update for the forthcoming Canadian and US Grands Prix for Honda which was successful, and both the drivers and team are looking forward to the race next weekend."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's been a busy week with tests at Monza and Silverstone. We have introduced a countermeasure for the problem with Taku's engine at the Nürburgring, and done some useful running with the new spec engine for Canada. Lap times have been good at both circuits, and we have high hopes for the race in Montreal."