Barcelona Test Round-Up - Honda


After a two week break following the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Honda Racing F1 Team returned to the track this week at the Circuit de Catalunya just outside of Barcelona, the home of the Spanish Grand Prix.

With the start of the European season just one week away, the programme for the four-day test focused on preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix, along with an evaluation of new aerodynamic configurations. The team ran one RA107 car this week with Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button and Christian Klien sharing the driving responsibilities.

Rubens began the test on Monday with an intensive aero programme over long runs, followed by a tyre evaluation with the options for the Spanish Grand Prix, completing 132 laps. Heavy rain hit the circuit overnight and continued into Tuesday which limited Rubens to a single installation lap during the morning. The rain eased slightly by early afternoon and Rubens was able to continue his aero work on both the extreme wet and wet tyres, completing 44 laps over the day.

More typical sunny conditions returned for Wednesday as Jenson joined the team in Barcelona. He spent the day completing a series of aero evaluations and also working on the race set-up of the car, covering 115 laps.

Christian completed the final day of running on Thursday. He spent the morning working on general car set-up followed by running various aero configurations before a rain shower interrupted the programme. The afternoon was also rain-affected. Christian was able to complete a short wet programme for a total of 80 laps today before a heavy downpour brought the day to an early conclusion.

Jenson Button: "Just one day in the car for me this week and I'm pleased that we were able to cover a good number of laps which shows the reliability of the car is very sound. I spent the day on Wednesday continuing the evaluation of some new aero parts alongside standard test items in preparation for the race weekend."

Rubens Barrichello: "We were able to complete a lot of running during my first day in the car and looked at many different test items. It was valuable to complete so much mileage as we were looking at many configurations with the new aero parts. I am happier after this test and we seem to have found some results in the right direction, so I hope we can make a small step forward at the next race. My second day on Tuesday was mainly wet but we covered over 40 laps and it was useful to get some data in case the race weekend is also wet."

Christian Klien: "It was great to be back in the car this week after my last test in Sepang, which was over four weeks ago, and I had a good day testing. The track was dry this morning so we evaluated different aero specifications. The weather changed for the afternoon but it was good practice for me to drive the car in the wet."

Jacky Eeckelaert - Engineering Director: "The main purpose of our test programme this week was to evaluate different aerodynamic configurations which have been developed in order to improve the braking stability of the car. We had sufficient dry weather testing to find the best package currently available. The braking is definitely better now and the lap times have improved and become more consistent, but there is still a long way to go to bring the team back into contention."

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Published: 04/05/2007
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