The Honda Racing F1 Team's final test before the start of the European races finished today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Taking advantage of the final opportunity to run on the track before the Spanish Grand Prix in May, the team ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's final test before the start of the European races finished today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Taking advantage of the final opportunity to run on the track before the Spanish Grand Prix in May, the team concentrated on aerodynamic and chassis set-up developments, comprehensive tyre programmes for the forthcoming races and running an upgraded engine specification in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix next weekend.
Race drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, joined by third driver Anthony Davidson, completed 3500kms over the three days, with the RA106 race car showing strong reliability and improved pace.
Rubens and Anthony began the running on Wednesday, with both drivers starting their test programme with set-up work followed by aero evaluations. Rubens continued to work through the aero programme in the afternoon session, with Anthony concentrating on chassis set-up work. Rubens completed 106 laps in total, setting the second fastest time of the day, with Anthony covering 113 laps.
Jenson joined the team on Thursday, spending his early runs finding a good balance on the car before working through an aero programme, alongside some chassis set-up work. Rubens also concentrated on an aero evaluation in the morning session, before completing a tyre programme looking at the options for the forthcoming races. Jenson completed an impressive 150 laps, covering nearly 700kms, with Rubens totalling 133 laps over the day.
Jenson began his running on Friday looking at general car set-up work, before completing a tyre evaluation over longer runs to end the morning session. He spent the afternoon working through a short aero evaluation followed by further set-up work.
Rubens concentrated on chassis set-up work covering 54 laps over the morning. Due to a trapped nerve in his shoulder, he sat out the afternoon session with Anthony taking over in chassis 03. Anthony successfully ran through the planned tyre evaluation, completing 69 laps.
"I really enjoyed my time in the car this week and we have made some good progress, I feel more comfortable and am getting more used to the car. We also made a step forward with the traction control, although there is still work to be done in this area. The only misfortune is that I have pulled a slight nerve in my shoulder so I stopped running at lunchtime today to get it checked out. Overall it's been another positive week and we're looking forward to getting to Imola next weekend."
"A fairly straightforward test this week with a lot of test items to get through before we go into the European season. We focused mainly on aero developments and tyre testing for the next few races and I feel that we've made a positive step forward with our aero package and also on the tyre warming work."
"It was another good test this week. I covered quite a few laps on Wednesday working on the chassis set-up for the next few races and we made some good progress. I stood in for Rubens this afternoon and completed a successful tyre evaluation covering 69 laps. So it was a busy afternoon for me but we made the most of the time and were pleased to finish the test programme as scheduled."
Mark Ellis, Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance:
"We have had an extremely busy test this week and have covered many new developments for the forthcoming European races. Both cars have shown impressive reliability for all three days enabling comprehensive programmes with new aero parts, tyres, chassis set-up and control systems to be completed."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development:
"We've put a good number of miles on the latest spec engine this week and successfully ran the engine to its target mileage. We are happy with the countermeasure for the issue that Jenson suffered in Melbourne and we will be introducing a more powerful engine for Imola."