After Formula One's five week summer testing break, the Honda Racing F1 Team returned to the test track this week at Monza in Italy, in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix to be held at the historic race track next weekend. The team used this...
After Formula One's five week summer testing break, the Honda Racing F1 Team returned to the test track this week at Monza in Italy, in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix to be held at the historic race track next weekend. The team used this opportunity to evaluate the tyre options with Michelin for the forthcoming races, as well as running through the car set-up options for the Monza circuit in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix.
Third driver Anthony Davidson and Young Driver James Rossiter began the test programme on Tuesday. Anthony worked through an aerodynamic programme in the morning followed by an evaluation of the tyre options for the Italian Grand Prix, completing 101 laps. James spent the day focusing on further tyre work, also for the Monza race, and completed 114 laps.
Jenson Button joined the team on Wednesday and spent most of the morning session optimising car balance in readiness for an intensive tyre programme in the afternoon. Despite continuous circuit red lights which interrupted running throughout the day, Jenson completed 107 laps. In the second car, Rubens Barrichello also spent the morning finding a good set-up, followed by tyre and electronics programmes, completing 75 laps.
Jenson and Rubens continued running on Thursday, although the planned morning programme was interrupted when they each experienced different engine problems, the causes of which are currently being investigated. Despite this, both drivers were able to make good progress with their morning schedules with Jenson running through a tyre programme and Rubens completing electronic settings work as well a short aero evaluation. This work was continuing into the afternoon session when a problem with the rear suspension caused Jenson to leave the track at Parabolica and hit the barrier.
"It has been an intensive two days at Monza this week with a lot of work to complete prior to next weekend. We spent most of my two days concentrating on tyre testing with Michelin to gather the data to choose the tyres for the race. There has been resurfacing work at Monza and the new asphalt is of a different composition which has made the tyre testing particularly challenging, but I believe that we have the data now to make the right choice. Today's problems have been a little disappointing so we will have to wait and see what the analysis of these issues tells us."
"It is always good to test at a circuit before the race and we have got some good data on the tyres and also the controls systems work that I have been doing this week, so in that respect it has been a positive test. We didn't complete as many laps as we would have liked today but the car feels good and our pace is reasonable so we have every reason to look forward to the race next weekend."
"I covered over one hundred laps on the first day of the test concentrating on the tyre options and car set-up for the race. It was a different experience getting used to the new tarmac around the second sector of the lap and it will make the tyre choice quite interesting for the race. It's always good to drive at Monza as it is completely different to every other circuit that we visit and a real mental challenge over every lap for the driver. The car felt good on the lower downforce settings that we use here and I felt that we were looking competitive."
"We had a good day on Tuesday with no reliability issues, which meant that we could complete our programme for the day and cover a lot of laps. We ran through an aero evaluation as well as a tyre test for the Italian Grand Prix. The car felt good and it was nice to be back driving after the summer testing break."
Mark Ellis - Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance:
"Although we have had some problems today, we have had an excellent test, despite the changing track conditions. All the drivers have been happy with the balance and pace of the car and we have made some encouraging progress with aero, suspension and electronic systems developments. We have completed a comprehensive tyre test and are confident Michelin have come up with some good solutions for next week's race where we look forward to continuing our recent competitive race performances."