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Italian GP: Practice notes - Honda

NEWS STORY
07/09/2007

Free practice for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix got underway in warm and sunny conditions in Monza this morning. In low downforce trim to suit the characteristics of this circuit, both of the Honda Racing F1 Team's RA107s ran through a straightforward Friday programme and made an encouraging start to the weekend.

Track conditions were a little slippery when practice started this morning and, as a result, neither Rubens Barrichello nor Jenson Button completed many laps during the first hour. Once some rubber had been laid on the racing line, they began their tyre comparison and set-up programmes. Jenson completed 21 laps during the first session and his best time of 1:23.668s placed him sixth overall. Rubens ended the session 0.9s shy of his team-mate, having completed 19 laps.

By the afternoon session, the ambient temperature had increased to 29 degrees and the track temperature to 35 degrees, which resulted in lap times generally being slower than they had been in the morning. Jenson completed 36 laps and finished the day in 13th place, with a best time of 1:24.137s, while Rubens completed 40 laps to end up in 15th place, with a time of 1:24.462s.

Jenson Button: A pretty straightforward Friday in terms of our programme. This morning the balance seemed quite encouraging and we got off to a reasonable start. This afternoon we concentrated on doing long runs to evaluate the tyres as well as some more specific set-up work. The balance wasn't as good as this morning, especially on the new tyres, so we need to have a look at the data now and work out why.

Rubens Barrichello: This morning we had a big deficit in terms of straight line speed, so this afternoon we tried a number of changes and have found some improvements. The set-up and balance also felt better this afternoon so we are making progress, but there is still a lot of work to achieve tonight and tomorrow morning.

Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: After last week's test here in Monza we our set-up work was more straightforward than usual as the track conditions were similar. We concentrated on fine-tuning the car balance for the race conditions with both Prime and Option tyres. Both cars ran our modified front and rear suspension and we will maintain this configuration for the race on Sunday.

To check out our Monza practice gallery, click here

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