The Honda Racing F1 Team completed a three-day test yesterday at the Paul Ricardfacility in the south of France.
This week's test has enabled the team toprepare for the next two races on the Formula One calendar, the Monaco GrandPrix which takes place around the streets of Monte Carlo next weekend, andthe Canadian Grand Prix, to be held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve inMontreal on 8 June.
Test and Reserve Driver Alex Wurz began the programme on Wednesday andconcentrated on aerodynamic and set-up work in preparation for the uniquedemands of Monaco's tight, twisty and bumpy roads. Alex completed142 laps of the 3.593km short configuration of the circuit. Race driver
Jenson Button took over the wheel of the RA108 on Thursday tocontinue the aerodynamic evaluations. A lunchtime rain shower interruptedhis running for a short time, after which Jenson spent the afternooncompleting a comprehensive tyre evaluation with the Bridgestone soft andsuper soft compounds. Jenson's final lap tally was155 laps as the team completed their preparations for the Monaco raceweekend.
For the final day of the test, the track configuration changed to a 5.255kmMontreal style layout to facilitate preparations for the Canadian GrandPrix. With the RA108 in a lower downforce set-up, Jenson began anaerodynamic evaluation in the morning session.
Unfortunately the predictedheavy rain showers hit the circuit around lunchtime and continued throughoutthe afternoon, curtailing any further serious running.
Jenson Button"Thursday was a very useful day as we completed our preparations for Monaco.The afternoon session was particularly productive as we made some changes tothe car which gave positive results. Unfortunately today has not proved tobe as successful due to the rain showers which limited our running to a fewdry laps this morning."
Alex Wurz"We had a very good test day on Wednesday running the aerodynamic packagefor Monaco on the RA108. We had an ambitious programme to complete over theday which included an aero evaluation plus mechanical set-up anddriveability work. I am pleased that we were able to successfully completethe full schedule over 142 laps."
Steve Clark"The test at the Paul Ricard facility in the south of France is atraditional one ahead of Monaco and Montreal. The track has differentchoices of layout which allowed the teams to choose the two configurationsbest suited to our preparations for these races. Even so, the short twistycircuit used on Wednesday and Thursday does not really compare to the uniquestreets of Monaco.
"However, it does give the opportunity to test newbodywork components for what is the highest downforce circuit so far thisseason. This went well on the first two days with Alex having some goodresults with the aero and Jenson making set-up progress and developing thebraking package. Unfortunately we had very little dry running today on thelonger version of the circuit. On a positive note, our reliability andproductivity remain very good with Alex and Jenson completing over 1000kmand 300 laps of the short circuit on the first two days."