Honda: 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix preview 

Written by David on March 28th, 2008 at 5:41 pmLast Update: March 28th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

RA108 Front ViewRubens Barrichello: “The first two races of the season have been very encouraging for the team and I have been pleased with how the car has performed, particularly that I have completed both races in the very tough conditions. Malaysia was a challenge for me after losing the practice running on Saturday, compromising my race set-up, but overall the RA108 has proven to be competitive and shown good race performance. The first three flyaway races of the season are very demanding for the drivers from a physical perspective as the ambient temperatures are usually high in the 30s. I am well prepared, with an intensive fitness regime to ensure that I am in peak condition ready for the start of the season. The races in Australia and Malaysia have provided a good build-up to the intense dry heat that we can expect in Bahrain next week. I am not anticipating that the heat will cause any issues for me or the car.”

Jenson Button: “We are pleased with our performance so far this season and it was very valuable to complete the full race distance in Malaysia last weekend. Our overall position in the midfield pack is encouraging, however we have to make a further step to be competing for points on a regular basis. With no opportunity for testing since the season began, we will be using the data gathered in Australia and Malaysia to maximise our performance at what will be another very hot race in Bahrain. I’m hopeful that we will be knocking on the door of the top ten in qualifying once again. I’m a big fan of Bahrain as a country and I also really enjoy the circuit as there are some great fast flowing sections where you can really push the car. Confidence under braking is the key to a quick lap. You have to believe in the car’s performance and have full confidence that you can stop effectively. There are several overtaking opportunities, particularly at Turn 1 after the long straight, where you can make up crucial ground as people tend to brake surprisingly early. The most challenging sector is probably Turn 14 which has a very quick approach where you brake as you turn into the corner, so you have to be careful not to lock the inside front wheel. The sand blowing onto the tarmac can be a challenge as you never know how the grip levels will change.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: “The race in Malaysia last weekend showed that the Honda team continues to make steady improvements on our pre-season form. I was particularly pleased to see both cars finish the race reliably and encouraged by the performance of the car and our drivers in achieving the maximum possible from the weekend. The race gave us a very accurate reflection of the RA108′s position relative to its competitors and provided valuable data with which to continue the development of the car ahead of the European season. The first two races have established that the RA108 is capable of competing strongly in the midfield pack and is close to breaking into the top ten runners. To score points however, we need to over-achieve on our current level of performance. Whilst we will aim for this in Bahrain, the European season when our next developments arrive, is a more realistic target. Following our encouraging start to the season, the spirit in the team is very good and we are all confident that we continue to make progress over the next few weeks.”

source: Honda RacingĀ 

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