The Honda Racing F1 Team completed a four-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France today in preparation for the next three Formula One races on the calendar, the Monaco, Canadian and United States Grands Prix. Race drivers Jenson...
The Honda Racing F1 Team completed a four-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France today in preparation for the next three Formula One races on the calendar, the Monaco, Canadian and United States Grands Prix. Race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, supported by third driver Christian Klien, participated in the programme this week.
Christian began the test on Tuesday with the circuit in a short configuration representative of the Monaco street circuit. He focused on a series of evaluations with the latest aero configurations for the RA107 car, although the blustery conditions around the circuit made the collection of consistent data difficult. Christian completed 115 laps over the day.
Rubens joined the team on Wednesday to continue the aero programme, alongside a tyre evaluation with the Bridgestone options for Monaco, covering 103 laps. He continued his running on Thursday morning in order to experience the circuit in the longer Montreal configuration. Rubens spent his early runs finding a good balance before completing further aero work over 71 laps.
Christian took over the car for the afternoon and initially worked to find a good set-up on the new track configuration. Unfortunately early in his planned tyre programme, the car suffered an engine failure bringing his running to an early conclusion after 25 laps.
Jenson joined the test for the final day with the track remaining in the Montreal configuration. His early runs were spent acclimatising to the circuit before completing the aero programme. A further engine failure late in the day curtailed his running after 100 laps.
"It has been good to come back to Paul Ricard this week as I have not driven here since an Opel Lotus race in 1990 and then one F1 test on the old circuit back in 1992. So the first day for me was about learning the circuit and then again on Wednesday when the configuration changed. It has been a good test where we have definitely made some progress, especially on the aero side. We are slowly addressing our problems and I am hopeful of an improved performance over the next three races."
"It was a reasonable day today and useful for me to experience the car on the Montreal configured circuit. Rubens and Christian had a busy week covering the work for Monaco so we should be well prepared going into the next few races. We will have to wait and see performance-wise, but I am particularly looking forward to Monaco next weekend as it is one of my home races."
"The first day of the test this week was positive. We focused mainly on aero work and covered a good number of laps. The whole team is working really hard and everything that we tried showed a small improvement, so it is encouraging to know that we are going in the right direction. I only completed a few laps on Thursday but Rubens and Jenson had plenty of time on the Montreal layout."
Jacky Eeckelaert - Engineering Director:
"The team completed a four-day test this week with our drivers on duty. Rubens and Christian spent the first three days looking at the new aero options for Monaco and Canada, sharing the test programme on the different circuit configurations. Jenson drove today and focused on the aero options for Montreal and Indianapolis."
"All in all, we can say that we have made some progress and another small step in the right direction. The car was more competitive during the long runs and the pace has increased. So we can now look forward to the challenge and excitement of racing in Monaco and hope to see an improvement."