The Honda Racing F1 Team heads east to Asia next week for the final double-header of the 2006 Formula One season, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, followed one week later by Honda's home race, the Japanese Grand Prix at the Honda-owned Suzuka...
The Honda Racing F1 Team heads east to Asia next week for the final double-header of the 2006 Formula One season, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, followed one week later by Honda's home race, the Japanese Grand Prix at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit.
The team has continued to push the development of the RA106 car and RA806E engine right up to the end of the season with six days of intensive testing in Jerez over the past two weeks. These tests provided the final opportunity for race drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button to prepare for the three remaining flyaway races as they focused on the continuing development of the latest specification Honda engine for the last two races, intensive tyre and aerodynamic evaluation programmes, as well as electronic controls upgrades.
With over thirty tonnes of freight packed up and sent on its way to Shanghai for the Grand Prix next weekend, the Honda Racing F1 Team will first make a pit-stop in Tokyo this weekend as Jenson Button and James Rossiter drive the RA106 at the Japanese Automobile Federation 'Mega Web' Motorsports Festival in Odaiba Bay.
"The Shanghai circuit is extremely impressive but more importantly it has a challenging track layout. The venue holds some pretty special memories for me as I won the very first Grand Prix there from pole position in 2004 which was a great weekend. With three races left of the season, my aim is to put the car into a podium position and I believe that we can deliver the performance to achieve this."
"The tests in Jerez have been very positive with developments on the aero and electronics packages, plus intensive evaluation of the tyres for Shanghai and the final races. Importantly the car and engine were very reliable and we hope that this will enable us to continue the strong performance that we have shown over the last three races."
"The Chinese Grand Prix has quickly become one of my favourite races on the calendar and the atmosphere at the race for the last two years has been fantastic. The circuit is very technical and quite demanding for the drivers but also fun to drive, with the stand-out feature being the length of the corners, particularly turn one which is tough on the neck."
"We had a good result in Shanghai in 2004 when I finished in P2 behind Rubens and I think that the track will suit our car this year. Our final test of the season in Jerez went well this week and we hope to end the season on a high note with some good performances at the final three races."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Both of our drivers have been very successful in the Chinese Grand Prix in previous years and Shanghai is a great addition to the calendar for our team. We go to China encouraged by our recent race performances and our most recent test in Jerez which was our last opportunity to evaluate all the developments that we intend to use in the final three races."
"The Shanghai circuit is a very striking facility with a mixture of long straights and an interesting combination of low and medium speed corners. The main feature is the length of some corners which present a unique and difficult challenge, particularly turn one where the drivers start turning at full throttle at about 280 kph and continuously brake and turn for about six seconds until the slowest part of the corner. Hopefully we can maintain our steady progression in performance and be fighting at the front of the field yet again."