B*A*R completes third test of 2003 in Valencia Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda moved from Barcelona down the Spanish coast to Valencia this week for their third test of 2003. Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button and Takuma Sato were present to put the...
B*A*R completes third test of 2003 in Valencia
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda moved from Barcelona down the Spanish coast to Valencia this week for their third test of 2003. Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button and Takuma Sato were present to put the B*A*R Honda 005 chassis through their paces over the four-day test.
Tuesday (28 January) saw Jacques and Takuma running in B*A*R Honda chassis 005/01 and 005/02 respectively. Jacques' day consisted of set-up work on the car and he completed 66 laps during the day with a best time of 1:12.3. Takuma's day was similar to Jacques', as he acclimatised himself to the circuit. Mechanical problems encountered mid-morning meant that he lost some running time but he was able to achieve 53 laps with a fastest time for the day of 1:13.7.
Jacques was joined by Jenson Button for day two of the test on Wednesday. Jenson's morning run was interrupted by an engine problem which stopped the car on the circuit. A further mechanical problem compounded a frustrating day for Jenson but the mechanics worked hard to get him back on track in time to retrieve some running late in the afternoon. He completed 29 laps with a best lap time of 1:12.9. Jacques' day was slightly more productive and he continued work on the car's set-up and carried out a tyre test. He completed 59 laps in total with a best time of 1:12.2.
Thursday was a cool and windy day at the Valencia circuit. Despite numerous red lights and some mechanical problems, Jacques completed 72 laps with Jenson achieving 62 laps by the end of the day. Jacques' focus was once again on set-up and the completion of the tyre test. His fastest time of the day was 1:12.1. Jenson was also working on set-up and aiming to put some more mileage on the car after technical problems compromised his running throughout the week. Jenson's best lap time was 1:12.4.
Today's plan to carry out some wet weather tyre testing with Jacques was frustrated due to low temperatures and high winds. The team put in a few dry weather runs during the afternoon but no lap times were recorded.
Speaking following his run on day one, Takuma was positive about the progress made: "I think the test went well in general. We did some back-to-back runs on the car so we were not looking for fast times. We were concentrating on the basic set-up to make sure that we are going in the right direction with that. Everything went well and the engineers are happy. The car feels good. It is very stable and I think it has the potential to be very quick."
Jenson was philosophical at the end of his test: "At this time of the season it's quite normal to have some reliability problems, which we have had in Valencia this week. I wasn't able to do much running on the first day so it was good to get some laps under my belt on day two. We will have some new parts in Barcelona which should improve reliability so I should be able to put in some real mileage."
At the end of his final day of testing, Jacques commented: "It was a very cold and windy day today so it didn't allow any of the teams to really concentrate on wet tyre testing. We tried to focus on dry tyre testing instead but, because of the windy conditions, we were unable to do much work in this area either. Overall, the test in Valencia has been good. The atmosphere and spirit in the team is great. The car is fairly quick, though it is difficult to judge what amount of fuel the other teams are running and how competitive we are compared to them. So far so good."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development, added: "We have covered a lot of miles this week and learned much more about the engine and the car. We've had a few small problems but completed almost all of the planned programme and we are already looking forward to the next test at Barcelona."
The team now returns to Barcelona to commence a three-day test on Sunday with Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button.