Following the launch of the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda 007 at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya last weekend, the team has embarked on the first stages of its testing programme to prepare for the 2005 season. Finding the condition of the new surface...
Following the launch of the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda 007 at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya last weekend, the team has embarked on the first stages of its testing programme to prepare for the 2005 season. Finding the condition of the new surface unsuitable for the first running of the new car, the team made the decision to move south to Valencia.
The three-day test kicked off on Wednesday with Jenson driving the 007 car and Takuma in the interim Concept car. Anthony and Enrique joined the test on Friday to take over the driving responsibilities.
Jenson had his first real run in the 007 car on Wednesday morning. He spent the early runs getting a good set-up before going out to evaluate the car on new tyres, completing 38 laps. He began the afternoon running through a race simulation exercise which was cut short with an engine failure midway through the second stint.
Jenson completed a total of 77 laps on the first serious day of running for the 007. In the interim car, Takuma spent the day running through a sequence of long run tyre evaluations, completing a total of 83 laps.
Jenson spent the second morning of the test running through tyre preparation work alongside an aerodynamic evaluation, completing 54 laps. In the afternoon he completed longer tyre runs over a further 73 laps, which took his final lap tally for the day to an impressive 127 laps in the new car.
Takuma also ran through tyre preparation work before completing a long run to evaluate the tyres. In the afternoon, he concentrated on shorter runs to evaluate new tyre compounds, with a final lap tally for the day of 132 laps.
Anthony and Enrique arrived in Valencia on Friday to take over the driving on the final day of the test. In the 007 car, Anthony spent the morning session running through some early tyre preparation runs. His engine failed after 43 laps which ended his running early. In the afternoon session, he completed two long tyre runs for a total of 117 laps today.
Enrique ran through a tyre evaluation in the morning session, completing 31 laps before a transmission problem halted his running. During the morning's running, he felt increasingly unwell and after a lunchtime check-up with the circuit medical team, he was advised not to drive in the afternoon and has returned home to recover.
"It's been a good week in Valencia and testing of the 007 car has gone pretty smoothly. We mainly concentrated on running tyre comparisons and set-up work, the usual programme for winter testing. There is still a lot of work to do on the tyres but we are heading in the right direction. The times are good compared to the Concept car and it's nice to be in a strong position after only two days of testing. I can't wait to get back into the car next week."
"It was my first test of the season this week and I was very pleased to get back in the car and into the rhythm of testing. The first day was very windy and gusty which made it difficult for us but we did collect some valuable data. The second day was more like perfect conditions with no wind. We did a lot of tyre testing and I think our development is looking strong for the new season."
"This was my last test in the Concept car and I am very excited about driving the new car in Valencia next week. I had a short drive for 6 laps at the launch last weekend but I am really looking forward to experiencing the car at a full test."
"It was good to drive the new car properly for the first time today. The last time I was at Valencia was driving the 005 car but I quickly adjusted to the circuit again. This was helped by the new car feeling very good to drive and it is satisfying to see that we are competitive with the car in its 2005 specification."
"We covered a lot of laps today and although we encountered some engine problems this morning, it was a productive day. Michelin are continuing to improve this year's tyres and they performed well around the Valencia circuit. I'm looking forward to being back here next week for a further three days in the new car."
Andrew Alsworth, Test Team Manager:
"We've had a busy three days testing here in Valencia, especially after we decided to switch the test programme from Barcelona. The new car performed very well in its initial running, completing over 1200 kms with no significant problems. We have a very intensive test programme ahead of us over the coming weeks which should enable us to iron out any future problems. A second new car will be available at next week's test in Valencia where we hope to continue the planned programme and our progress towards the new season."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's been a good first test for the new car but obviously we've found a few things that we need to look at on the engine and we will of course be working hard to put these right."