Honda arrives at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, the home race not only for Honda's two partner teams, DHL Jordan Honda and Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda - both of which are situated within a few kilometres of the circuit gates - but...
Honda arrives at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, the home race not only for Honda's two partner teams, DHL Jordan Honda and Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda - both of which are situated within a few kilometres of the circuit gates - but importantly for Honda Racing Development, the manufacturer's European F1 base at Bracknell in Berkshire. A large proportion of the Associates at HRD, including the Japanese engineers seconded there, will be at Silverstone to see the action first-hand.
Following the European Grand Prix, B.A.R Honda and Jordan Honda remained on the continent for three-day tests at Mugello and Barcelona respectively. B.A.R test drivers Anthony Davidson and Patrick Le Marie and race driver Jacques Villeneuve amassed over 1,300 kilometres between them, working through a heavy schedule including software, brakes, traction control, diff modes and tyres. The Jordan Honda team similarly racked up a solid total of over 1,000 kilometres with both Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato on duty in the Spanish heat, completing a varied test programme on tyres, aerodynamics, suspension and brakes.
Not only is this the home race for Honda and its partner teams, but Honda's major European car plant is also located in the UK in Swindon, situated less than 80km to the south west of Silverstone. In the run-up to the forthcoming British Grand Prix, B.A.R Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis helped the state-of-the-art UK facility celebrate a milestone when they visited Swindon recently as the factory's 500,000th Honda Civic came off the production line. Wearing the mandatory two-piece white uniform worn by all Honda Associates, Jacques and Olivier got a feel for what goes on in the Assembly Frame Department, where the Civic bodyshells are transformed into finished cars.
The Honda-powered drivers assisted with the delivery of the engine selected for the history-making Civic from the on-site Engine Plant and looked on as the powerplant was installed into the chosen chassis. In total it takes approximately three hours for each Civic to be assembled and, once this process was completed, Jacques and Olivier drove the milestone Civic off the production line and onto the purpose built 1.4km test-track. Constructed on an old airfield, this features two sections; one is used for high-speed dynamic certification while the other simulates rough road sections, incorporating six different road surfaces to assess noise and vibration.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development
"The British Grand Prix is a particularly significant race for both our partner teams and it's always great to race on home ground and in front of home crowds and fans so I really hope we can give them something to cheer about this weekend. The changeable weather is always a factor in Britain but that just makes it all the more exciting and I know all four Honda-powered drivers are relishing the challenge of Silverstone."