B*A*R Honda's Young Driver Programme reached its second stage this week as Alan van der Merwe, Adam Carroll and James Rossiter joined the team in Jerez. The trio had the opportunity to participate in the full experience of intensive testing with a...
B*A*R Honda's Young Driver Programme reached its second stage this week as Alan van der Merwe, Adam Carroll and James Rossiter joined the team in Jerez. The trio had the opportunity to participate in the full experience of intensive testing with a Formula One team as they joined race driver Takuma Sato and test driver Enrique Bernoldi at the track.
Despite the unfavourable weather conditions which meant that their first drive in the car would be on a wet track, all three drivers coped well with the challenging conditions. Each driver had two-half days of running in this year's B*A*R Honda 006, coached and engineered by Senior Race Engineers Jock Clear and Andrew Shovlin.
First to drive on Wednesday morning was Alan who able to get some moderately dry running just before the end of the session and set a credible time. Adam took over in the afternoon session and had his first run in dry conditions before a second downpour. He switched to extreme wet tyres, followed by intermediates, acclimatising himself very well.
James had his chance to drive for the first time on Thursday morning. Again he coped well and completed a series of five timed laps in the wet. Alan's second session on Thursday afternoon again gave him the best of the weather as he completed six runs to set the tenth fastest time of the day.
Adam was back in the car on Friday morning to complete 16 laps over 3 runs in very wet conditions.
Jock Clear, Senior Race Engineer:
"The objective of the test this week was to give all three drivers the opportunity to do two half days of running. Their schedule was to complete 40 to 50 laps in each of their sessions to experience some basic set up work and get a feel for the behaviour of the Michelin tyres."
"Having worked closely with the drivers for the last week, we were not surprised at the speed at which they settled into both the team and the car. Their running was severely hampered by the difficult and changeable weather conditions, but their ability to adapt and remain in control was admirable. The next step is for us to evaluate the programme to date and consider the performances we have seen this week."
Alan van der Merwe:
"It's been a very positive few days for all three of us despite the unpredictable weather. I was lucky to get the best of running during a brief dry spell on Thursday and my first run in the car was awesome. I thought I knew what to expect but after feeling the power and grip, I was quite taken aback really. We've been fortunate to have been so well prepared and helped by everyone in the team which has made it possible for us to progress. I can't wait to get back in the car again."
"You just can't describe the feeling when you first experience the acceleration and braking power of an F1 car. Despite the changing conditions during my first run, I completed 33 laps without incident and was happy with my performance overall. I would like to thank the whole team for giving me this opportunity and their valued support."
"The test has been a fantastic experience and we've been treated very well by the team and really made to feel part of the testing programme. Driving the car was amazing. You hear people talking about the performance but to experience it for yourself is something else."