Hungarian GP: Honda preview

Honda arrives in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix, round 13 of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, after a three week interval during which Honda and its two partner teams, DHL Jordan Honda and Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda, have been ...

Honda arrives in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix, round 13 of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship, after a three week interval during which Honda and its two partner teams, DHL Jordan Honda and Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda, have been recharging their batteries and upping their efforts in preparation for the final five races of the year.

Since the start of this season, the two globetrotting race teams have each travelled to no fewer than 11 countries and covered approximately 100,000 km (over 60,000 miles) by air while their respective test teams have clocked up even more mileage in carrying out their crucial endeavours in between the fortnightly Grands Prix. Honda transports almost 10,000 kilos of equipment, spares and engines, four trucks and between 40 to 50 personnel to each race. Having been on the road since February, the three-week summer break and accompanying testing ban -- stretching until 1 September -- has given everyone some welcome breathing space.

Since the beginning of the year the four Honda powered drivers have clocked up an astonishing 8,743 test laps and 2,001 race laps between them and they have all enjoyed some much appreciated holiday time. Aside from a couple of PR appearances in Monte Carlo and Munich, B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis has been relaxing at home in France with his family. Team-mate Jacques Villeneuve has been catching up on reading some books, enjoying hot weather and participating in some water sports. Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella has been with his family on his boat in the Mediterranean Sea off Sardinia while Takuma Sato, who started his racing career on two wheels by winning the All Japan Students Cycling Championship six years ago, spent time cycling in Switzerland as well as relaxing at home in Britain. Although all four have been making the best of the extended break between races, it hasn't all been sunshine and speed boats; the Honda-powered quartet have been busy with personal trainers to maintain their levels of physical fitness.

>From a team perspective, British American Racing gave its high mileage race team a chance to spend some catch-up time with their families and friends. However, the factory in Brackley has been extremely busy during the period with technicians and designers all working overtime on new components for next year's car under the guidance of new technical director Geoff Willis. It's been a similar story down the road at Jordan Grand Prix, where the Silverstone-based outfit has been working on car performance developments, as well as taking time off for a well-earned break. Jordan also carried out two shakedowns of 50km, the maximum amount of running time allowed during the testing ban, at the Silverstone National Circuit with both the Honda-powered EJ12s.

Meanwhile many of the race engineers and technicians based at Honda Racing Development at Bracknell in the UK took the opportunity to return to Japan. Although able to visit their families back at home, they have also maximised the break to hold briefing and planning meetings with their counterparts at Honda's Tochigi R&D to discuss future technical developments both for this year's RA002E engine and for Honda's 2003 powerplant.

Shuhei Nakamoto -- Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development

"Although we've taken a step forward in the last couple of races, we haven't managed to turn our increased performance into point scoring results. We're optimistic for the weekend in Hungary and we hope to capitalise on our developments and help our partner teams finish in the points."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Geoff Willis , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams British American Racing , Jordan