Honda – Spanish GP – Preview

Fri, 12 May 2006, 02:44

Last weekend’s European Grand Prix was a race of mixed fortunes for the Honda Racing F1 Team. Whilst Rubens Barrichello finished in the points for a second successive weekend, Jenson Button’s retirement due to engine failure, whilst also in a good points scoring position, was obviously a disappointment.

With only a week before Round 6 of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Honda Racing F1 Team’s focus now switches to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. The Circuit de Catalunya is something of a home from home for all of the teams since it is one of F1’s primary testing circuits.

The Honda team has already conducted eight days and over 7600kms of testing there with the RA106 this year, and hopes that this will be one of the factors which helps the team to a successful weekend.

Rubens Barrichello:

“The Spanish Grand Prix is slightly unusual because we use the circuit so often for testing, so I think we will see that reflected in the performance of all the teams. It’s a track I enjoy – although I do get to see rather a lot of it! – and I think we should do well there. It was good to get some more points at the Nürburgring, although we lacked a little bit of pace. We have to work to improve on this for the weekend.”

Jenson Button:

“It was a tough weekend at the Nürburgring so I’m looking ahead and focusing on Spain now. It’s a circuit where you need to be strong aerodynamically and I think our car is good in that respect. It’s quite a demanding track for the drivers and the fast corners put a lot of strain on the neck. However we do get a lot of practice at Barcelona as we test there so often, so we know the track inside out.”

“The weather is likely to be nice and hot which always suits us better and if we can resolve the engine problem from last weekend, I think we should be able to get a good result. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:

“A home from home is the perfect description of the Spanish Grand Prix. Like many other teams, we use the track extensively for testing throughout the year. The RA106 has been competitive in the various tests there since it was launched back in January, In addition, we have the latest specification engine for both drivers.”

“All of which makes us positive going into this weekend, despite our relative lack of pace in the last race. Barcelona itself is one of the favourite venues on the F1 calendar amongst many of our team members.”

Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member – Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director – Honda Racing Development:

“Both drivers have a fresh engine this week, with the newest, more powerful specification. We will have a countermeasure in place for the problem on Jenson’s engine at the Nürburgring, and will be aiming to get closer to the front-runners.”

Miguel Coelho

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