Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's third driver Anthony Davidson made an impressive debut on the streets of Monte Carlo in today's free practice sessions for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. He started the day cautiously as he acclimatised to this impossibly...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's third driver Anthony Davidson made an impressive debut on the streets of Monte Carlo in today's free practice sessions for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. He started the day cautiously as he acclimatised to this impossibly narrow, twisty and bumpy track, and ended the second session just 0.4 seconds behind Monaco-meister Michael Schumacher - no mean feat given his relative inexperience of this totally unforgiving and heavily Armco-lined circuit.
Race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato consolidated a positive start to what the team hopes will be another podium-class performance this weekend.
"I think we should feel very happy with what we have achieved today and we're certainly looking good for a strong weekend. We have run three cars with no major problems and achieved everything we needed to, particularly with Anthony who has done a good job today. We still have a lot of work to do to go through all the data we have acquired from all three cars. As we all know, qualifying well is crucial here and we have to ensure that tomorrow morning's sessions give us the maximum preparation for that. Generally though I think it will be a very interesting weekend."
"I'm very pleased from a personal point of view and the team has made a good start to the weekend. All three cars were the top performers in my opinion and we all made good progress towards the race. So, I am very happy with our pace today and I enjoy driving here in Monaco. It is a very encouraging start and obviously we now need to concentrate on the performance and tyres for tomorrow because qualifying is so important here."
"I've had a really positive debut here today and I'm very pleased with our performance. It's a fairly tough circuit generally - and quite daunting for the first few laps - but I was really looking forward to getting out there. It's one of those circuits that really moves you as a driver and perhaps more than any other circuit I would really love to be driving here for the rest of the weekend. I'll settle for the fact that I've done a race distance here today to help prepare for what I'm sure will be a great race for Jenson and Taku."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"It's always very comforting to put the first day of free practice in Monaco behind you without any problems and with a solid set of times. Both Jenson and Taku must be reassured by their competitive pace and the knowledge that there is still more to come. Anthony Davidson, on only his first visit to Monaco, was clearly the star of the day."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"We've had a successful first day with all three cars completing full programmes without any significant problems or incidents. The high level of traffic here, made worse than usual by the addition of the third cars, has made it quite difficult to achieve consistent laps for tyre evaluation. The circuit was very dusty this morning and we have made only small set-up changes as the track conditions have improved. The performance of the car seems to be quite good today although we have to do more work in order to maximise first lap performance for qualifying on Saturday."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Although it is only the first day I think that the times we have done today can allow us to be very optimistic for the remainder of the weekend. After Barcelona it is important that we get our momentum back and try to get one of the guys on the podium."
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Practice session 1: 1:17.339, 3rd
Practice session 2: 1:15.520, 6th
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-03
Practice session 1: 1:17.279, 2nd
Practice session 2: 1:15.664, 7th
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-04
Practice session 1: 1:17.791, 7th
Practice session 2: 1:15.141, 2nd