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Bahrain Friday Notes: Honda

NEWS STORY
10/03/2006

The Honda Racing F1 Team's RA106 race car made its Grand Prix weekend debut today at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, ending the first day's running at the top of the timesheets. With the team able to run its third car during Friday's free practice session, Anthony Davidson returned to Friday competition and made his mark with the fastest lap of the day - 0.4 secs ahead of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.

Anthony conducted most of the set-up and tyre work today, preserving engine mileage on the two race cars of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button. A gearbox problem this morning confined him to the garage for much of the first session but he made up for lost time with this afternoon, achieving a good balance and plenty of data for the race drivers to work with.

Anthony Davidson: "It's great to be fastest on the opening day of the season but I wanted more from today, not just for me but for the team. It was disappointing to lose the first session to a gearbox problem but we made the best out of the situation this afternoon and completed most of the tyre programme. Our focus was on the long runs and we achieved a good result, so coupled with the information we got in testing here a few weeks ago, we have a lot of information to work with this evening. The conditions here are very different though; it's been quite windy today and there's a chance that may continue. However we achieved a reasonably good balance by the end of the session so generally we've made a good start."

Jenson Button: "Not a bad first day. Having said that it's disappointing that we couldn't achieve as much data as we'd hoped for after losing all of the morning session. The track conditions are quite different to those we encountered in testing here three weeks ago so we have some work to do this evening with today's data in order to keep improving for qualifying."

Rubens Barrichello: "Today the focus was on Anthony and the data he could achieve in the third car. The running that I completed this afternoon was useful although I didn't really get a clean lap due to traffic and also the balance of the car was very different to the test here. We have some work to do to get the right balance on my car for tomorrow morning but right now I'm more enthusiastic about what we have been able to achieve with the third car today."

Gil de Ferran: "We ended the day on a very positive note, despite an initial setback this morning when Anthony's running was curtailed in the first session by a gearbox problem. He ended up posting the fastest time of the day. All three drivers feel there is more to come from improving the car balance, so tonight we will analyse all the data gathered with a view to making the tyre choice tomorrow and continuing to move forward."

Shuhei Nakamoto: "The engine ran well and it was good to see Anthony at the top of the timesheets, showing once again the speed and consistency we saw from him on Fridays in 2004."

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