Honda Testing Day 1

Date     Monday 17 November Track    Circuit de Catalunya, Spain Drivers   Alex Wurz / Lucas Di Grassi / Bruno Senna 

No of Laps   77 laps / 48 laps / 39 laps  Best Lap Time  01:21.198 / 1:25.512 / 1:24.343 Kilometres Covered 763.5km Track Length  4.655km 

Weather    Cold and sunny  Ambient Temperature Maximum 17°C Track Temperature  Maximum 22°C 

SUMMARY

The Honda Racing F1 Team returned to the test track today just two weeksafter the 2008 season finale in Brazil as the Formula One teams travelled tothe familiar testing venue of the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona tocommence preparations for the 2009 season.

The three-day test will see the Honda team run two programmes. Alex Wurz andJenson Button will focus on the development of the 2009 car whilst the teamalso evaluates young Brazilians Lucas Di Grassi and Bruno Senna.

Alex kicked off the main test programme evaluating various aerodynamiccomponents for next season and running the Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres.Jenson will take over the car tomorrow to complete the final two days of thetest.

Lucas was the first of the young drivers to complete his half-dayfamiliarisation programme this morning. He went out for an initial run ongrooved tyres to acclimatise to the car before the team fitted used slicksfor the remainder of the session. After lunch, Bruno took to the track forhis first ever drive in a Formula One car. He followed the same programme asLucas, starting on grooved tyres before moving to used slick tyres midwaythrough the session.

Lucas will complete a full day of running tomorrow with Bruno taking overthe car on Wednesday.

ALEX WURZ"The view from the cockpit is just so much nicer with slick tyres on thecar! As a driver, I prefer the driving style with slicks so I am happy thatthe change has finally come, even if it is too late for me to race withthem. My focus for today was on gathering information with the tyres whilstrunning various 2009 downforce levels. We have come away with good answersand a clear direction so I am pleased with the work that we achieved. It wasnice to see the two young guys in action with Honda today. Both understoodthe car very quickly but how they develop from here with a full day in thecar will be important."

LUCAS DI GRASSI"My first day in the Honda car has been a good experience. The focus of myhalf day programme today has been to get the best possible feeling for thecar ahead of my full day tomorrow. One of us had to be the first out ontrack today and that was me, but this morning the track was really very'green' and took a while to improve. I ran with slick tyres for the firsttime and in a car that is both new to me and which had a combination of 2008and 2009 aero elements, so it was a totally new experience for me but a veryenjoyable one. Today I have been using old tyres, running with low downforceand working through a variety of set-ups. Tomorrow will be a better test ofwhat I am capable of."

BRUNO SENNA"The first day of my first Formula One test has been just as big a moment asI expected it to be. I have also had a lot of fun and really enjoyed myself.This morning I focused on doing as much as I could to prepare for my turn. Ilistened to the team radio and watched and learned how the team works. I wasfeeling quite calm but on my first lap out of the garage I realised thesignificance of the moment. This is a very special opportunity and one whichhas been a dream my whole life. The team were great and left it to me tofind my level, but by the end of my second run I was feeling very much athome in the car. There were lots of new sensations as the gearshifts, enginepower and aerodynamics compared to a GP2 car were all very different. I needa few adjustments to be fully comfortable in the car for Wednesday butgenerally I am feeling good. Obviously my full day is when everything willcount but I am very pleased with what I achieved today and the more laps Ido, the quicker I'll be hopefully. A great, great day for me and I amincredibly grateful to the Honda team for making it possible."