The Honda Racing F1 Team began its 2006 testing programme at the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain this week. With new race driver Rubens Barrichello joining the team for his first test and with Anthony Davidson confirmed as third driver, it was...
The Honda Racing F1 Team began its 2006 testing programme at the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain this week. With new race driver Rubens Barrichello joining the team for his first test and with Anthony Davidson confirmed as third driver, it was an exciting week for the team as it continues preparations for the 2006 season.
Building on his experience of testing for the team in 2005, one of the team's Young Drivers James Rossiter also completed a one-day test programme on Wednesday, making excellent progress.
Anthony and James began the test on Wednesday. The cold weather meant that there was little running in the early part of the morning with both drivers completing installation laps and system checks only.
Once on track, Anthony concentrated on a tyre evaluation programme completing an impressive 113 laps while James conducted a series of aerodynamic evaluations alongside a tyre programme, covering 105 laps.
Rubens arrived in Jerez on Thursday for his first test session with the team. He began the day running in the team's 2005 car with a V10 engine in order to acclimatise himself to the car and tyres.
The circuit was again very cold in the early part of the morning so Rubens used the opportunity to complete installation runs and establish his driving position. Once the track temperatures started to rise, he went back out to complete his first full runs to evaluate the car and provided some valuable feedback to the engineers.
Rubens completed 45 laps in the 2005 car, concluding the team's V10 engine programme and setting the equal fastest time of the day. Rubens then moved over to the 2006 Concept car for his first run with a V8 engine and completed 8 laps to prepare himself for the following day's programme.
Anthony continued his running in the second Concept car and, after initial set-up work, completed a tyre evaluation covering 107 laps.
The frequent afternoon rain showers caused some interruptions in Jerez on Friday. Rubens continued to acclimatise himself to the V8 car, completing further familiarisation runs and working on set-up.
He completed a couple of dry runs in the afternoon session, followed by a wet run at the end of the day on intermediate tyres, completing a total of 38 laps over the day. Anthony continued his work in the V8 car running through further aerodynamic evaluations alongside general set-up work and completing 69 laps.
Rubens will remain in Jerez on Saturday to complete a wet tyre programme with Michelin. The team will be testing at Jerez again next week from Wednesday 18 - Friday 20 January.
"It's been a fantastic time for me this week. Everyone has been really enthusiastic and the relationship has been good so I hope that keeps going. We couldn't do as many laps today as I wished because of the weather but it's looking good."
"Any laps that I can get with the V8 engine prior to starting with the new car in a couple of weeks will be very very important. So I'm happy as even with only 39 laps and the experience that I have with the car, we moved forward today. I know I will be very happy here."
"We've completed lots of tyre testing this week looking at new compounds and constructions for Michelin. We've found some good results from the long runs as well as the performance runs and I've been really quite happy with the pace of the car all week."
"It's been good having Rubens here for the first time, to work with him and hear some different views and ideas, I've really enjoyed that. It's been a good week to get to know each other and already I can feel there is a strong working relationship there so I'm very happy about that and it's positive for the year ahead."
"It was good to be back in the car and helping the team out at the first test of the year. I concentrated mainly on aero evaluations and a short tyre programme and we found some encouraging results. The car felt good and was reliable so overall I had a very positive day on Wednesday."
Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer:
"We have made solid progress this week adapting the car to the new regulations. Tyre testing with Michelin has yielded some very encouraging results which will provide a good direction for 2006."
"It is good to welcome Rubens to the team and he has spent a couple of days acclimatising to the new engine and tyres and has provided excellent feedback as expected."
It was very valuable for us to have one of the Young Drivers James at the test continuing to gain experience and mileage in the car and providing very high quality feedback."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"The three-day test has been very successful this week and we have completed the whole engine programme. Rubens joining the team is very interesting for us and will be a big help with the engine development."