German GP: BAR preview

Revitalised after two weeks spent on home soil, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's race team head back to continental Europe for round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which takes place at the Hockenheimring in Germany next weekend. The...

Revitalised after two weeks spent on home soil, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's race team head back to continental Europe for round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which takes place at the Hockenheimring in Germany next weekend.

The teams have put behind them the disappointment of missing out on a podium finish in the British Grand Prix and are firmly focused on the opportunities which lie ahead in the seven remaining races.

Despite B*A*R staying ahead of its immediate competitors at Silverstone, McLaren's return to form served as a stark reminder that Formula One doesn't stand still for long. B*A*R has a clear grasp on third place in the Constructors' Championship, however the team has been out in force in Jerez this week, making the most of the last opportunity to conduct on-track development before the end of the European season.

With the test ban taking effect from the German Grand Prix, Jenson Button, Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson all took part in the three-car, three-day test at the Circuito de Jerez, putting Honda's latest engine step through its paces and conducting a comprehensive programme of Michelin tyre tests and aerodynamic evaluations.

Jenson Button:

"Even though we were disappointed not to secure a podium finish at Silverstone last week, it wasn't too bad considering McLaren's step up in form. Looking towards the German Grand Prix, I think that we should be a lot stronger in Hockenheim as our car is well-suited to the circuit. The track demands good traction and our car is strong in this area. There is a good overtaking opportunity at the end of the back straight which should make for an interesting race. The stadium section is also pretty special to drive through. We now need to concentrate our efforts on fighting the Renaults and to enable us to do this we need to have both cars finish the race in the points."

Takuma Sato:

"I raced at Hockenheim in 2002 when the circuit reopened after its major changes. It has been reconstructed into a very technical circuit which always provides an exciting race and gives us some great overtaking opportunities. Silverstone was a tough race for me, and I have had a few frustrations at our test in Jerez this week. However, some elements of the test programme have produced quite promising results, so I am very much looking forward to the German Grand Prix next week."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"We took away many positives from Silverstone, despite what, on the face of it, was a fairly average result for us - particularly at our home Grand Prix. The test team have made good progress with our latest developments in Jerez this week and with seven races remaining we have to maintain every ounce of the momentum that has brought us so far already this season in order to pursue a top three place in the Championship. Personally I'm hopeful that the German Grand Prix will mark a return to the podium for B*A*R."

Craig Wilson, Chief Race Engineer:

"A two-car finish at Silverstone with only one car in the points is disappointing against our objectives for this season. We have been using the last week of testing before the ban to work on chassis, engine and tyre developments in Jerez, in preparation for the forthcoming races, including Hockenheim, in order to improve both our speed and reliability in the wake of increased competition."

"The track layout for the German Grand Prix requires a medium compound tyre that balances the grip against heat durability, as the traction demands, and usually high track temperatures can cause blistering concerns. While the top speeds are not as high as the old Hockenheim, there is still a requirement for a substantial top speed for the race, due to the run from turn two down to the wide hairpin which provides opportunities for overtaking."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"We have been continuing with our engine development programme, and the next step will be introduced at Hockenheim. We expect it to give us a performance improvement, and development will continue to the end of the season in an effort to improve our position in the championship."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams McLaren