MARATHON TEST IN VALENCIA COMPLETED After a great result in Austria last weekend, the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team headed off to Valencia for a comprehensive four-day test. Running two cars and four drivers, the team clocked up over 500 laps ...
MARATHON TEST IN VALENCIA COMPLETED
After a great result in Austria last weekend, the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team headed off to Valencia for a comprehensive four-day test. Running two cars and four drivers, the team clocked up over 500 laps on the full circuit and over 200 on the short circuit, whilst working on the ongoing aerodynamics development programme, tyre testing and engine testing.
Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were on driving duty on day one. The Valencia track is often dirty on the first day of running and, after a few laps to clean up the track and optimise car set-up, Anthony began an aerodynamics programme whilst Takuma concentrated on electronics and tyre testing. He completed a total of 105 laps and set the fastest time of the day - 1:12.91.
Anthony completed 88 laps with a fastest time of 1:13.54 and commented: "This is my first time in Valencia for over a year but I was able to quickly get back in the swing of things after driving the car at Ricard just two weeks ago. My programme was back-to-back aerodynamics testing which was very constructive. We learnt a lot and if there had been a few more hours in the day we would have gone much quicker with the new package too!"
Race drivers, Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button, took over for day two. Jenson's programme consisted of running for Bridgestone and some engine development work with Honda. He completed an impressive 131 laps with a best time of 1:12.42. Jacques' day was spent tyre testing and running back-to-back aerodynamics tests. A hydraulic leak took his car out of action in the middle of the day but he managed to complete 54 laps with a fastest time of 1:12.62.
Jenson continued work for Bridgestone on day three, along with some intensive aerodynamic development work. He ended the day fastest with 85 laps under his belt and a best time of 1:11.72. Jacques was also tyre testing and working on engine development. He completed 81 laps with a best time of 1:12.24.
He commented, "We had a lot of small problems that kept us from running but we did continue the tyre test that Jenson started, and decided on our tyres for Montreal, so it was good from that point of view. We tested the next step Honda engine which was very promising. We did have a problem with it but Honda suspect it was just a manufacturing fault so easy to solve. The engine shows a lot of promise so as long as the reliability is maintained we should be very competitive."
The team ran a wet tyre test on day four on the artificially soaked, short circuit in Valencia. This was the last day of running and Jenson Button and Takuma Sato were at the wheel of the two 005s. Takuma was fastest with a time of 0:59.68 (120 laps). Jenson's fastest time was 1:02.31 and he completed 104 laps. These times were set as the circuit dried out at the end of the day.
Jenson commented, "Overall this has been a very good test. I did a huge amount of laps every day, which is great from a reliability point of view. We've got through a lot of tyre testing and now have some useful options and we've also run the new aero package which, although we need more time with it, is a positive step forward."
After driving for the team on days one and four, Takuma Sato said, "I've had a good test. On the first day we did a lot of work on tyres for Montreal and some traction control and launch testing. Today was different as it was a wet tyre test and it was strange to drive on a wet track when the sky was blue! We went through all the various wet tyre configurations and got some good results."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director at Honda Racing Development commented, "We had a problem with the engine yesterday, but will still be able to introduce an improved specification for Monaco. Overall it's been useful to test at Valencia, with its low-speed corners, in both wet and dry conditions, in preparation for next weekend"