The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a positive start to its Malaysian Grand Prix challenge today as the Sepang circuit sizzled in searing 39Â°C conditions. Every minute of the drivers' preparation for the intense heat and humidity of Kuala ...
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team made a positive start to its Malaysian Grand Prix challenge today as the Sepang circuit sizzled in searing 39°C conditions.
Every minute of the drivers' preparation for the intense heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur came into play as they completed the first two free practice sessions for Sunday's 56-lap race.
The team focused on the back to back tyre comparisons which are typical of its Friday programme, along with set-up work to tailor the aerodynamics package to this demanding 15-turn circuit.
The day's running went according to plan with Jenson Button ending the two sessions 5th and 8th respectively. Team-mate Takuma Sato recovered well from a spin in the morning session to finish 13th and maintained this position in the afternoon.
"The first day of running here is always a bit of a body shock with the temperature inside the cockpit reaching well over 50°C. All in all I think we've made a good start to the weekend. We've had quite a productive day, completing all of the testing that we planned to and focusing on tyre comparisons and aerodynamic adjustments. We've gathered a lot of data which we'll look over this evening and I think we should expect another positive day tomorrow."
"It was good to get as many laps in as we planned today without any car issues. I had to back off a bit on my quick laps because of the yellow flags but generally the car balance was good and we have some valuable data for the tyres. It was really hot inside the cockpit so it is going to be a tough race on Sunday, but we are looking good so far."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical director:
"This is a positive start to the weekend. We had two good sessions today with both cars completing our planned programme. The cars are working well with the very high track temperatures and we have been pleased with our consistently good performance throughout the sessions. These high temperatures are tough on the drivers but we do not have any concerns with cooling of the engine or other car systems. We look forward to another positive day tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"A fairly solid start to the weekend. No particular problems despite the heat and slippery track, a good number of laps, and reasonable times in a closely bunched field."
Chassis: BAR-Honda 007-04
Practice session 1: 5th, 1:26.513
Practice session 2: 8th, 1:35.992
Chassis: BAR-Honda 007-02
Practice session 1: 13th, 1:37.366
Practice session 2: 14th, 1:37.044