The Honda Racing F1 Team returned to Europe this week for the first of two important tests before the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in two weeks time. The three-day test at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy saw Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and...
The Honda Racing F1 Team returned to Europe this week for the first of two important tests before the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in two weeks time. The three-day test at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy saw Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and James Rossiter completing the testing duties as the team focused on chassis set-up work, tyre programmes and running the latest specification engine.
Anthony and James began the test on Tuesday morning with both drivers concentrating on chassis set-up and tyre evaluations to address the tyre issues encountered in the Australian Grand Prix and evaluate the options for the San Marino Grand Prix. Anthony completed 120 laps, setting the fastest time of the day, with James covering 132 laps.
After flying in from the Australian Grand Prix, Jenson joined the team on Wednesday, taking over the testing responsibilities from James. He spent his early laps acclimatising to the car and the circuit before running through a chassis set-up programme.
Anthony worked through an intensive tyre programme evaluating tyres for the San Marino and European Grands Prix. Despite an early afternoon rain shower which interrupted the test programme for some time, both drivers were able to cover significant mileage, with Jenson completing 108 laps and Anthony completing 158 laps.
The test programme concluded on Thursday with Jenson continuing his chassis set-up development, alongside a tyre programme looking at the best options from Wednesday's running. Anthony once again focused on tyre work with an evaluation of the options for the European Grand Prix, along with further development on tyre warm-up. Jenson completed 113 laps with Anthony running for an impressive 163 laps.
"Testing went well this week. The weather wasn't great yesterday as it was fairly windy and cold but actually that was perfect for us as we are doing a lot of work to see why we can't get heat into the tyres or make them work when the temperatures drop. I spent the two days mostly concentrating on this along with some regular tyre testing for the next races. We got some very useful info so all in all it's been a good test."
"It was a faultless three days of testing this week with really good reliability enabling us to cover a great deal of mileage. I completed over 1800kms over the course of the test. My main focus this week was tyre work, particularly looking at the options for Imola and also working on the tyre warm-up issues that we have been experiencing. Although we have made good progress, there is more work to be done at Barcelona next week, but overall we are feeling positive about the car's performance."
"We had a very good and constructive day on Tuesday. I ran through various set-up options on the car and also completed a tyre programme in the afternoon looking at options for the next race. Overall the day went smoothly and we were able to cover a lot of mileage."
Mark Ellis, Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance:
"We have had an extremely constructive test this week, with our priorities focused on understanding the issues that affected our race performance during the Australian Grand Prix. Our aim is clearly to carry our qualifying performance into the race to help us to deliver our goals. We are optimistic that our efforts this week, coupled with the many new components to be tested next week in Barcelona, will achieve this in Imola."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development:
"The engine ran very well for all three days of the test this week and we will be continuing the development programme in Barcelona next week in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix."