After a successful race in Turkey, where Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello both brought their RA106 race cars home in the points, the Honda Racing F1 Team is now looking forward to the final European race of the season, the Italian Grand Prix,...
After a successful race in Turkey, where Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello both brought their RA106 race cars home in the points, the Honda Racing F1 Team is now looking forward to the final European race of the season, the Italian Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Held at one of the most historic venues used in Formula One, the unique Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is set in a leafy royal park north of Milan. All eleven Formula One teams participated in the traditional Monza test this week following the five week summer testing break.
The Honda Racing F1 Team conducted an intensive three-day programme with all four of its drivers working on the car set-up and tyre options for what is the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar, where top speeds in the race are likely to reach in excess of 340 kph.
"Monza has always been a very special event for me and I still have a lot of Italian fans who write to me with their support, so it's a weekend that I always really enjoy. I have actually won twice at Monza in 2004 and 2002 which are some of my favourite memories in Formula One."
"It's a unique circuit and easily the fastest in the F1 calendar in terms of speed. You have to get the braking right and obviously the traction and the power of the engine are important too. We had a good test this week in preparation for the race, focusing mainly on tyre choice and car set-up for the lower levels of downforce that you need here, so we look forward to another good race next weekend."
"I'm really looking forward to the race at Monza. The atmosphere is always great over the race weekend and the circuit has traditionally seen lots of exciting racing, so hopefully it will be another good race for the fans. I had a podium finish here in 2004 and it is a track that I always enjoy."
"We did a lot of good work with Michelin at the Monza test this week in preparation as most of the track has been resurfaced, so we needed to focus carefully on the tyre choice. We have a relatively good car around here so I think that we should be reasonably competitive in the race."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"For those who love Formula One, going to Monza is a special occasion. The history of the place is evident and the atmosphere is fantastic. The circuit itself is unique with very long straights and the highest top speeds that we will see all year, placing a premium on the aerodynamic efficiency and top-end horsepower. This year, most of the track has been resurfaced, which has slightly changed the requirements on the tyres."
"Together with the other teams, we spent three days in Monza this week optimising our tyre choice and set-up for the track, including a unique aerodynamic configuration. Both Jenson and Rubens have had good races there in the past, particularly Rubens who has won twice, and our car performed well at the test, all of which bodes well for the weekend."