Honda was back at Jerez this week for a second consecutive week of testing. Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson were all in attendance as the team continues to develop its two Concept cars, focusing on tyre, engine and aerodynamic performance evaluations. Overall it was a very positive test for the team which now looks forward to the debut of the new RA106 car at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Wednesday 25 January.
Button and Davidson began the test programme on Wednesday although a very cold morning with low track temperatures limited the drivers to installation laps. Once the track had warmed up, both completed set-up programmes, followed by tyre and aerodynamic evaluations. Button completed 97 laps setting the fastest time of the day, with Davidson completing 134 laps.
Barrichello joined the test on Thursday taking over from Davidson as once again the drivers were limited to short set-up runs by the low temperatures. The Brazilian completed 62 laps over the day as he continued to work on the set-up of the car and acclimatise himself to the car and the Michelin tyres. Button’s programme also consisted of set-up work followed by a tyre evaluation. He completed 93 laps, setting the fastest time of the day for the second day in succession.
Heavy fog around the circuit on Friday meant that no serious running was possible until lunchtime. The afternoon proved far more productive as Button and Barrichello went out to complete comprehensive tyre programmes. Barrichello completed 103 laps, setting the second fastest time, with Button completing an impressive 120 laps in the session.
“I am continuing to learn with every day that I spend with the team and am very happy with the progress that we have made over the last two weeks. Even though we started quite late today, we have still been able to do many laps this afternoon and have seen some good results. I hope that my input helps the team continue this development and progress further when we have the new car available next week.”
“Testing went really well this week, particularly taking into account the lack of running time in the mornings. I completed a lot of laps as we are focusing mainly on tyre testing and reliability work at the moment. This is our last test with the Concept car and I’m really looking forward to testing the new car next week.”
“I had a good day on Wednesday completing 134 laps as we focused mainly on tyre testing. The car was reliable again and our long runs were by far the best of all the cars running on Wednesday. The car seemed really strong after ten laps or so and we did a lot of work on the pace of the car over the long runs. We saw some really good results so I was very happy with the day’s work. It’s promising that we seem to have the pace at the moment because naturally the new car will be even faster. I’m really looking forward to getting in the RA106 next week and putting it through its paces.”
Mark Ellis, Chief Test Engineer
“Despite the short sessions due to the early morning conditions this week, we have completed over 2700km with the Concept car which has again proven to be extremely reliable. We have been able to identify the limits of several components which will prove invaluable in ensuring our continued strong reliability. We have mainly focused on tyre testing with our partner Michelin which has yielded some important results. Rubens is now becoming fully acquainted with the team, the car and the tyres and is proving a huge benefit to us.”
Shuhei Nakamoto, HRD Engineering Director
“Another pleasing test overall with lots more data gathered on the engine. I’m excited about seeing how the new total package, the RA106, performs on its first run next week.”