The Formula One season reaches its climax this weekend as the teams leave Japan and head west to China for the concluding round of the 2005 World Championship.
Just seven days separate the two grands prix and packing over 30 tonnes of freight, flying it across the East China Sea to Shanghai then rebuilding the car and trackside facilities just 48 hours later is no mean logistical feat for the B.A.R Honda team.
The inaugural Chinese Grand Prix last season marked the Shanghai International Circuit as one of the favourite stops on the F1 calendar and few can fail to be impressed by this awe inspiring spectacle. For B.A.R Honda‘s drivers, it’s the perfect stage for the final race of the year.
Jenson Button commented, “The Chinese Grand Prix has become one of my favourites, so it’s great to be heading there this week for the final race of the season. The Shanghai circuit is quite challenging and fun to drive. We were on the podium last year and we know it’s a track that should suit this year’s car. We did some good work in testing for the last couple of races and though I’m reluctant to make any predictions after a disappointing home race for the team in Japan, I think we will be stronger in China. We have a busy week ahead though looking at where things went wrong for us and what we can do to make sure we can step up again to end a tough season on a high note. I am looking forward to it.”
B.A.R Honda has continued pushing forward with its car development right to the end of the season and a good test in Jerez three weeks ago gave positive indications for the final two races. A great deal of analysis will be conducted this week to ensure that the team is able to improve on a disappointing showing in Japan last weekend, but the team is optimistic of a stronger performance in China, where Takuma Sato will be using Honda’s final engine specification of the V10 era.
“I am absolutely determined to have a strong race in my final grand prix for B·A·R Honda. Shanghai is an extremely impressive circuit in terms of the facilities and challenging track layout. Last year I had a good race from the back of the grid, and there are a number of good overtaking opportunities at this circuit. After positive tests during the past month, we believe we should have a strong package, so I am very excited about the last race of 2005,” Sato stated.
With the recent total aquisition of the team from Honda, B.A.R., alongside out-going driver Takuma Sato, will be apart of the team for the last time at China and leave behind a colourful history with the team. Along with B.A.R., the whole team is looking to finish on a high explained Team Sporting Director, Gil De Ferran. “We are really looking forward to going to China for many reasons. It is the last race and that always has a special taste. China itself is fascinating and the circuit is fantastic. Obviously we are still licking our wounds from a difficult race in Japan, however we are hoping to be able to do a better job and finish the season on a high after a lot of analysis in the week ahead. Taku has the latest development engine which we think will be beneficial.”
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director of Honda Racing Development talked about Honda’s view of the final race of the season. “We’ve been pleased with the progress we have made with our engine development through the year and we have our most powerful engine for the last race of the V10 regulation in China. We’ll be doing all we can to finish the season with a good result.