Not much holiday for BAR

While the current mid-summer break between races is designed to give globe-trotting Grand Prix a brief chance to recharge their batteries before the final four rounds of the season, for many at Lucky Strike BAR Honda there's little or no chance of...

While the current mid-summer break between races is designed to give globe-trotting Grand Prix a brief chance to recharge their batteries before the final four rounds of the season, for many at Lucky Strike BAR Honda there's little or no chance of a well-earned holiday.

"It's a bit of a misnomer that this is a holiday period," reports Technical Director Geoff Willis. "Everybody at the factory is very busy. We are ramping up towards the new car as well as trying to keep the development going on the current car. We are also catching up with manufacturing new items for this year's car."

"There was an upgraded bodywork package for Silverstone and so we need to produce full-sets of spares for later in the season. Three weeks may sound like a long time, but we'll reach Hungary very quickly."

Willis also points out that while all official testing is banned throughout August, the team is still allowed to perform what's called 'shakedown' tests to put new engine, technical systems and other developments through their initial paces.

"We are allowed to do 50kms in a given day and as many days as we want," confirms Willis. "That gives us just about enough time to check systems, to find out whether a new performance part behaves as we think it should and to do a tiny bit of reliability running."

So, if a traditional summer holiday isn't on the cards, what time in the year are BAR team members encouraged to take a vacation? "There really isn't an obvious break period at any time during the season anymore," continues Willis.

"The factory is busy pretty much for all 52 weeks of the year. Given members of the team have different peaks and troughs in their work load during the year. The race team are free at the end of the year, for instance, but it's not so easy for the senior design group -- they have to rob a little time after the car is launched -- but it's quite tricky."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Geoff Willis