Honda: 2008 Spanish GP preview 

Written by David on April 21st, 2008 at 1:17 pmLast Update: April 21st, 2008 at 1:17 pm

RA108 Front ViewQ: How did the RA108 perform during testing this week? Rubens Barrichello: “We had a very successful four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya and were able to work through a lot of test items. Our main focus was the mechanical and aerodynamic developments for the RA108 car at this race. We saw a significant lap time improvement with the new upgrades which is very pleasing, but as ever, we need to wait until the race weekend to determine how this will impact our position on the grid. I’m confident that we have continued to make good progress.”

Q: You know the track well from testing. Does that help you to extract more performance from the car? Rubens Barrichello: “Every driver and every F1 team knows the Circuit de Catalunya well as we use the track so often for testing in the winter months and throughout the season. The test which takes place in advance of the Spanish Grand Prix means that we are very well prepared for the race weekend and have a lot of data on the set-up and tyre requirements. However there are always variables in the weather, the wind conditions and the resulting grip levels so there is still a great deal of preparation work to do during the practice sessions to extract the maximum levels of performance from the car.”

Q: What are your hopes for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend? Jenson Button: “Our performance over the first three races showed a steady rate of improvement which was encouraging for the whole team and has given us renewed confidence in the car. Although I was not able to complete much mileage at the test this week due to the weather, the team had three days evaluating the new upgrades, so I am confident that we are in good shape. The circuit here is very familiar so we will make the best use of our time on track to fine-tune the set-up of the car. We hope to be challenging for a top ten qualifying position again which would put us in position for a strong race.”

Q: What is the key to a quick lap around the Circuit de Catalunya? Jenson Button: “The key to a really quick lap is having a car with good downforce; you need to feel confident when you commit to the very high speed corners. Overtaking can be a real challenge here and one of the best opportunities is going into the first corner after the start. You can squeeze by there once the race has settled down but it is very difficult. The chicane can also be tricky as it is extremely slippery and so very slow. One little mistake could cost you a lot of time there.”

Q: How do you expect the Honda Racing F1 Team to perform at the Spanish Grand Prix? Ross Brawn: “The team has made good progress at each race so far this season, gaining in confidence and performing better on each occasion. Our recent development push on the RA108 with a new aerodynamic package, suspension modifications and driveability improvements showed pleasing results during the four-day test this week. I expect these developments to add to our competitiveness and improve our points scoring potential at the Spanish Grand Prix and the races to follow.”

source: Honda Racing

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