Eager to get back to the business of racing, the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a good start to its French Grand Prix weekend today in the first of the free practice sessions for Sunday's 70-lap race. Takuma Sato and Jenson Button worked ...
Eager to get back to the business of racing, the Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a good start to its French Grand Prix weekend today in the first of the free practice sessions for Sunday's 70-lap race.
Takuma Sato and Jenson Button worked through their regular programme of Michelin tyre evaluation and set-up work, and had their first opportunity to see how well the latest aerodynamic upgrades and Honda engine developments translated from a positive test in Jerez last week to the racetrack here in Magny Cours.
Takuma Sato ended the morning session in 4th place, with team-mate Jenson Button close behind in 6th. This afternoon, the focus switched to a longer-run tyre programme and Jenson ended the day 12th with Taku in 14th place.
"It's been a good day today and we've achieved a lot of good tyre work. This morning, the track was very dusty and slippery, so we didn't do too much running and therefore couldn't gather much data. This afternoon we were able to make up for that."
"We've done some long runs, the car has been working well and the tyre work has been very consistent, so I'm happy with the package that we have for Magny Cours. We've still got a bit of work to do to get closer to the top of the timesheets for tomorrow but the baseline is there and I'm hoping we can look forward to a positive weekend here."
"We have carried over all of the good work that we completed in testing to the practice sessions today, concentrating on race set-up during our longer runs this afternoon and working through our tyre programme. The car seems to have good balance, similar to the way we were running in North America, and the very different high-downforce aero package that we have for this race appears to be working well. Our data is showing very positive signs."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"Looking at the final timesheets, one could be forgiven for thinking that we are disappointed with today's result. However, the opposite is true since we are quite happy with today's outcome. Once it became clear that rain was no longer a threat and track conditions were likely to remain reasonably consistent, we very much concentrated on doing longer runs, especially in the afternoon when the track was quickest."
"The Michelin tyres proved to be quite consistent during those long runs and we believe that we have made a step forward in our high-downforce configuration for this race. We are hopeful of a good performance in qualifying tomorrow. Finally, it feels good just to be concentrating on racing again after a turbulent few weeks."
Shehei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"Generally, we have made a positive start to our French GP weekend today. We are using the latest specification of Honda engine here and, as expected, the performance has been very good. We look forward to a strong weekend here in Magny Cours."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Practice session 1: 6th, 1:16.038
Practice session 2: 12th, 1:16.597
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-05
Practice session 1: 4th, 1:15.530
Practice session 2: 14th, 1:16.890