Spanish GP: BAR preview

After a welcome return to the podium for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda and Jenson Button at the San Marino Grand Prix, the team is eager to build on its success at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next weekend. B*A*R Honda's season really got ...

After a welcome return to the podium for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda and Jenson Button at the San Marino Grand Prix, the team is eager to build on its success at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next weekend.

B*A*R Honda's season really got underway in Imola, when Jenson and team-mate Takuma Sato finished 3rd and 5th respectively and opened the B*A*R Honda account with a crucial 10-point haul.

This return to form was the result of a relentless effort back at the factory and in testing and in Mugello this week, the team has once again put a series of tyre, engine and aerodynamic developments through their paces and achieved the fastest lap times on two consecutive days.

As one of their primary testing venues in 2004, the 2.939 mile Circuit de Catalunya is very familiar to B*A*R Honda. This experience, combined with this week's positive Mugello programme, means that the team has an equally ambitious objective for round 5 - finishing both cars in strong points positions and hopefully adding another trophy to its collection.

Jenson Button:

"Barcelona is a circuit which I have always enjoyed driving at. It's very fast flowing and seems to be a race that we have always done well at. Following our test there at the beginning of April, I hold the unofficial lap record so the car is obviously in good form."

"We've been testing in Mugello this week, which is a similar type of circuit to Barcelona in that they are both very fast. We've been quick in testing so are positive that the team can go to Barcelona next weekend and get a good result."

Takuma Sato:

"Barcelona is one of the team's favourite circuits because for two consecutive years we have held the lap record - which is something very special. I always enjoy driving there as it is a high-speed and challenging circuit."

"We take the very high-speed turns at over 250kms, putting nearly 4.5G on the body, which is a great feeling in an F1 car. After re-surfacing in January, the track was initially 20 seconds a lap slower, however it seems to have improved now and we were able to do some useful development work at the recent test there."

"Unfortunately off-line is still quite slippery, and we are not sure how much overtaking will be possible during the race, so qualifying will be a great challenge. I am really looking forward to it, especially following our great result in Imola and I believe that it will be another very close Grand Prix weekend."

"Barcelona is a very historic city and I have been lucky to visit it a few times. It is interesting to see the architecture, eat lots of good food and see all of the monuments, but most importantly it is the venue of a great Grand Prix!"

Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:

"Besides the issues we are currently dealing with off the race track, we are very optimistic going into the Spanish Grand Prix. It was clear that we had a good race with both cars in Imola and since then we have been able to make further progress during our two-day test in Mugello, where we ran over 2500kms and extensively tested further aerodynamic developments."

"If you also bear in mind the very successful test we had in Barcelona prior to the San Marino GP, where Jenson broke Taku's lap record, it all seems to be conspiring towards another strong showing, where hopefully we will again be challenging for victory."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:

"We'll be looking to build on our strong performance at Imola, and have good reason to be positive after another pleasing test in Mugello."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Gil de Ferran , Shuhei Nakamoto