Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda began the countdown to the team's 100th Grand Prix today with a total of just 31 laps between its three drivers, as torrential rain courtesy of the approaching Typhoon Ma-on made for treacherous track conditions in ...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda began the countdown to the team's 100th Grand Prix today with a total of just 31 laps between its three drivers, as torrential rain courtesy of the approaching Typhoon Ma-on made for treacherous track conditions in Suzuka.
The fastest times of the day were those recorded during fleeting periods of respite from the constant downpour, but were nonetheless a full 13 seconds off last year's pole position time, which confirms the lack of any representative running today as the drivers were forced to tiptoe around the 5.8 kms circuit.
"The first session was very wet and the start of the second session was equally wet, but it was driveable. You wouldn't want to race or test in those conditions, given the choice, as we had quite a bit of aquaplaning, but at least we could keep it on the track. As we got further into the second session though it was really wet, the circuit was drenched and it was very dangerous."
"There was no visibility; you couldn't see the car in front until you were one and a half car lengths behind it. It looks like it will be just as bad tomorrow - if not worse - so I would definitely support a move to run qualifying on Sunday morning, when the rain is expected to ease up a little."
"We could do nothing about the weather today but it meant the conditions were very difficult for everyone. It's frustrating and I feel so sorry for the fans that have been sitting here in the rain all day and have not seen much action from the cars. From a performance point of view, the heavy rain meant that we had some issues with aquaplaning and the car was tricky to control."
"Despite the weather getting worse, we had to continue running in the second session to get as much information as possible. When you were following another car, you really couldn't see anything in front of you which can be very dangerous. Unfortunately if the weather continues, we will have no chance of qualifying tomorrow and I really hope that on Sunday we will see better weather to allow the race to go ahead."
"The constant rain made life very difficult for everybody today. We weren't able to work through our planned programme at all and we were limited on laps because most of the time the circuit was undriveable as we were just aquaplaning. It is very disappointing for me to not to have achieved any dry running on one of the best tracks in the world and be able to get a real feel for it. I think Jenson and Takuma's equally frustrating start to the weekend is likely to continue through to the race on Sunday."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"I feel really sorry for all the fans who turned up today to see Takuma and the team in action, but unfortunately the atrocious weather prevented us from doing anything more than a few exploratory laps. If that wasn't bad enough, the forecast is for a typhoon to hit Suzuka tomorrow, with wind speeds of up to 100 mph. The good news is that things are looking better for race day on Sunday, and let's hope that we can still put on a great show at our 100th Grand Prix."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"The driving conditions were very difficult today and for much of both sessions it was too wet to run safely. The second session was generally even wetter than the first, with the cars aquaplaning at many points. In the slightly less wet conditions we were able to get some running in on the extreme wet tyres. Given the conditions we were not able to work through our programme but we did get some useful information with tyre pressures."
"We had no car or engine problems and fortunately our drivers stayed on the track in the tricky conditions. We are confident that our car will be very competitive in the wet but racing in these conditions will be very difficult. The forecast for tomorrow is not good so it may be that we get very little running before the race on Sunday."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It was a real shame for the fans that running was so limited by the rain. We're just hoping the forecast typhoon will not disrupt the rest of the weekend's schedule too much."
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Practice session 1: 4th, 1:49.937
Practice session 2: 20th, 1:53.482
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-06
Practice session 1: no time
Practice session 2: 8th, 1:49.370
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-04
Practice session 1: 15th, 2:00.712
Practice session 2: 9th, 1:49.598