||Honda F1, Testing, BAR Specific
||January 23, 2003 17:50
||March 26, 2003 16:01
Testing goes well for BAR Honda in Spain
23 January 2003
BAR COMPLETE SECOND 2003 TEST IN BARCELONA
Lucky Strike BAR Honda today completed their second test of 2003 at
the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. The team are the first to
field two brand new chassis and both race drivers were present to put
them through their paces.
Jacques Villeneuve had his first opportunity to drive the BAR Honda
005 on Tuesday. Rain overnight meant that the track was wet until
early afternoon so his first laps were spent getting a feel for the car
and finding a comfortable driving position. A mechanical problem
mid-morning confined the car to the garage but Jacques was able to
resume running in the afternoon in dry conditions. An engine problem
caused the car to stop on track, cutting short the afternoon session.
Jacques completed a total of 14 laps in his first day's running with a
best time of 1:19.748. Anthony Davidson resumed his testing duties
with the task of shaking down the new second chassis. He was able to
complete 31 laps and posted a fastest time of 1:19.712 before an engine
problem curtailed his day's running.
Jacques had an encouraging second day, completing 56 laps (256 km)
without any major problems. His main objective was to carry out
further set-up work on the car, which enabled him to improve his seat
position and increase visibility from the cockpit. His fastest time of
the day was 1:18.799. Jacques was joined on track by Jenson Button,
whose programme for the morning included some engine evaluation work
for Honda whilst acclimatising to the new chassis. His track time was
compromised by a mechanical problem and he was able to complete only 21
laps with a best time of 1:19.148.
Jenson continued today (Thursday) with some engine mapping work for
Honda followed by a Bridgestone tyre test. Hydraulic problems hampered
his running throughout the day and he completed 21 laps in total with a
best time of 1:18.524. Jacques' morning run was interrupted by an
electrical problem but once this was resolved he was able to undertake
some longer runs this afternoon. He completed 32 laps with a fastest
time of 1:18.195.
Commenting on his first impressions of the BAR Honda 005, Jacques
said: "The car is better everywhere. The fact that it's got more
downforce and the weight distribution is lower helps mainly in the
high-speed corners. It's very stable in high-speed corners but also
much more nimble, so you can carry more speed into the slow-speed
corners and when you start accelerating it doesn't snap as much as it
did last year. I'm quite happy. We are just waiting for bits now so
we can work on the set-up."
Jenson added: "I've lost quite a bit of track time over the last two
days but the car is performing well when we are able to get some laps
in so we just need to spend more time with it. It's early days yet so
I'm sure we'll be able to make a lot more progress in Valencia next
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development,
commented: "It's been a frustrating three days as we've had some
engine problems and other difficulties, so I'm not too happy! However,
it's not unusual to have problems at this early stage and we did gather
some useful data. We are now focusing on improving things for next
week's test in Valencia."
The team moves on to Valencia in Spain next week for a four-day test
from 28-31 January, with Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button and Takuma Sato carrying out the driving duties.