The Honda Racing F1 Team returns from the summer break this week looking forward to Round 14 of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Turkish Grand Prix held at the Istanbul Park Circuit on the Asian side of the Bosphorus River in ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team returns from the summer break this week looking forward to Round 14 of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Turkish Grand Prix held at the Istanbul Park Circuit on the Asian side of the Bosphorus River in Turkey.
The team is still buoyed by its fantastic result at the Hungarian Grand Prix two weeks ago, which saw Jenson Button and the Honda Racing F1 Team together claim their first Formula One victory in a thrilling race. The Honda Racing F1 Team's RA106 race cars will carry a specially designed '72' logo this weekend to commemorate what was in fact Honda's 72nd Grand Prix victory, and its first as a works team since the 1967 Italian Grand Prix when John Surtees took the chequered flag in the RA300.
The summer test break means that no testing has been possible since the last two back-to-back races and the team has taken this opportunity to both celebrate its victory and re-group for the remaining five races of the 2006 season.
The Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park made its debut on the F1 calendar last year and received almost universal praise from teams, drivers and spectators alike in what was one of the most exciting and overtaking-packed races of recent years. The undulating anti-clockwise track presents a unique challenge to the drivers and has some real highlights including the high speed triple apex turn eight.
"It was good to visit Turkey for the first time last year. The circuit is fantastic and I was really impressed by the facilities and the layout. The undulations of the track make it very exciting and challenging from a driver's viewpoint and there are some good overtaking opportunities."
"It is also quite tough physically and we're expecting the race to be run in hot temperatures so it was important to keep training between the races, although the break has been good to recharge and get ready for this weekend. We showed a real improvement in Germany and Hungary so although we have done no testing prior to this race, we will be hoping to carry this performance forward to Turkey."
"It feels like it's been a complete whirlwind since our first win together two weeks ago but now that I've had the chance to celebrate properly and a week or so of rest and relaxation, I'm ready to get back in the car again and make the most of the remaining five races. There have been some very special moments over the past couple of weeks and I'll remember those for ever but it's time now to crack on with the Turkish Grand Prix and the rest of the season."
"In Hungary, everything came together for us when it counted and it has given the whole team renewed motivation. We never doubted our potential but now we know we are winners. There are likely to be challenging times again over the coming races but our car is well-suited to the Istanbul Park Circuit and we are capable of a good result there. I really enjoyed the circuit last year and had a good race so I'm looking forward to the weekend."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"We return to Turkey recharged by our first win and our well-deserved summer break. Since Hungary, the team's focus has been firmly on the Turkish Grand Prix and the remaining races of the season. Last year, the Istanbul Park Circuit was the scene of one of our better races and this year, once again, we're hoping to be in the thick of the fight."
"The circuit layout provides many challenges with a unique combination of a very high-speed turn, long straights and tight hairpins, not to mention the changes in elevation. All in all, this racing circuit is a 'classic'."