Free practice for this weekend's French Grand Prix got underway in Magny-Cours today in somewhat cooler conditions than experienced over the past few races. The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello spent the day working ...
Free practice for this weekend's French Grand Prix got underway in Magny-Cours today in somewhat cooler conditions than experienced over the past few races.
The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello spent the day working through an extensive set-up programme to tailor the RA107 to the characteristics of Le Circuit de Nevers. They ended the day in 15th and 18th positions respectively.
The unusually cool temperatures for the time of year - ambient 20c and track 31c - coupled with re-surfacing work on two-thirds of the 4.411km lap, made balancing the RA107 rather more of a challenge today. Despite this, the aerodynamic and front suspension upgrades that the team is introducing this weekend performed as expected, with both drivers reporting improvements to the long-run pace of the car.
"It was a typical Friday practice for us today as we focused on evaluating the tyres and finding the best set-up on the car. Most of the runs went fairly smoothly with Rubens and myself covering a lot of laps giving us plenty of data to work with overnight. It was pretty windy out there today which will make the data comparisons trickier but the conditions are the same for everyone."
"I thought the car was a little more competitive today, although that isn't necessarily represented by our position on the time sheets. We struggled a little with the balance of the car during the morning session, particularly with the rear end, but it improved over the course of the day."
"Unfortunately I didn't get my last run on the new tyres this afternoon due to the yellow flags after a car went off the track. That would have improved my lap time a little for sure. Still, we have a lot of information to look over this evening to try to improve for qualifying tomorrow."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director:
"Both drivers focused on finding a good car balance for the race and working with both the prime and option tyres. We achieved a reasonable pace during our long run programme but neither Jenson nor Rubens got a good, clean lap on new tyres, which is important preparation for qualifying tomorrow. Tomorrow will provide us with a better barometer of our upgrade developments for this race."
Practice session 1: 24 laps, 1:17.047, 14th
Practice session 2: 43 laps, 1:16.395, 15th
Practice session 1: 25 laps, 1:16.990, 13th
Practice session 2: 25 laps, 1:16.990, 13th