Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda were back in the thick of the action at the NÃ¼rburgring today, making their much-anticipated return to the track after a two-race absence. Surprisingly for this circuit, track conditions were very dusty as free practice...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda were back in the thick of the action at the Nürburgring today, making their much-anticipated return to the track after a two-race absence.
Surprisingly for this circuit, track conditions were very dusty as free practice got underway and this morning both Jenson Button and Takuma Sato opted to complete just two installation laps before waiting for the track to improve in order to yield more representative data.
This afternoon the drivers were able to resume their usual Friday programme of tyre evaluation and set-up work to suit the circuit characteristics, in preparation for tomorrow's programme which will focus on race set-up and the new single session fuel-in qualifying format.
"It's great to be back racing again, although the conditions today weren't ideal for gauging where we are versus the competition. Also, we have had to be careful with the engine today as it's five weeks since we last raced it in Imola and today wasn't the day where we needed to push. We'll think about unleashing it a little bit more tomorrow."
"The hot weather here has taken everyone by surprise a little and all of the teams will have had to change their approach to this race to some extent. I think we know where we are with the tyres though and we'll just take each day as it comes. We still have some work to do to get to improve for qualifying tomorrow and then we'll have to work with whatever situation running first leaves us in."
"It was good to be back in the cockpit today. The team has done a great job and we were all very excited to be coming back to racing. This morning we only completed installation laps to check that everything was OK as the circuit was quite dusty and we needed to wait for it to improve. We were also taking it easy with the engine."
"The car feels good, with reasonable balance, but we still need to work on quite a lot for tomorrow's qualifying to improve our pace. But other than that, I just enjoyed the sessions and it is great to be back. We will be working hard for our race set-up."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"With no low fuel qualifying we focused on race set-up and tyre choice today. We were also trying to be conservative with our engines as they have not been run for five weeks. However the balance of both cars needs to be improved, so we have some work to do tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"Both engines ran well throughout the sessions, and we ran a healthy number of laps this afternoon. We've not focused particularly on low fuel runs, so we think today's lap times are reasonable."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Practice session 1: no time
Practice session 2: 16th, 1:33.753
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-02
Practice session 1: no time
Practice session 2: 15th, 1:33.514