7 January 2002 Circuit De Catalunya, Barcelona The winter testing ban now over, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda are in Barcelona for the first test of the season and a first taste of the new car for Olivier Panis, as he put the new BAR004 through its...
7 January 2002
Circuit De Catalunya, Barcelona
The winter testing ban now over, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda are in Barcelona for the first test of the season and a first taste of the new car for Olivier Panis, as he put the new BAR004 through its first on-track paces.
With the team joined on track by Williams, McLaren and Jaguar, Olivier ran 23 laps today -- his fastest lap being a 1.21.914. Team mate Anthony Davidson completed 33 laps in the BAR003. Although Olivier drove the car from the factory at it's launch on the 18th December, this test is the car's real shakedown and a chance for Olivier to get used to being back in the driving seat after the winter break.
So, what are his first impressions of the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda 2002 challenger?
"I'm very happy with the work we've done here so far. We didn't do very many laps but I've got a very good feeling about the car. Everyone back at the factory has worked really hard during the winter so I think we've made a good step forward and I'm positive for this year. At the moment I'm taking it step by step but today I felt very confident after just a few laps -- as a driver that's important. I really enjoyed driving the car."
Chief Engineer, Steve Farrell is similarly optimistic following this first day of testing:
"It's good to get the first day's running under our belts with the 2002 car and it's gone very much according to plan. Obviously it's early days and this is really just shakedown testing, but considering the specification of the car, which is in its early stages of development, we're satisfied with our work so far. We're also running a 2001 car at this test, not only to allow us to make accurate comparisons with the new car but also to carry on with development work we are doing for the 004. We are also using it to do tyre and brake testing work here too. To that end, Anthony is doing a very good job."
Engineering Director Malcolm Oastler was also in Barcelona to see the car in action for the first time. He commented:
"We've had a really good day. It's the first run of the new car and everything seems positive. We've got lots still to do but it's coming together well and we're optimistic about the new season".