Monday, 25 June 2007

Just how fast is the new Honda?

It seems Honda have discovered a performance advantage over their B-team Super Aguri. There have been mixed reports about the size of the gap however.

Following an extensive test at Jerez which saw the introduction of Honda’s B-spec RA107 technical director Shuhei Nakamoto said:

“We made some good progress at the three-day test in Jerez this week where the excellent weather allowed us to fully complete our planned programme.

“We were therefore able to sign off various new mechanical parts and an aerodynamic upgrade for the RA107 as well as further improvement to the stability under breaking.”

There are rumours that the RA107 is around a second a lap faster than the Super Aguri cars.

However none of the F1 news services have cited their sources for this information.

Publicly, Nakamoto has predicted only a “small improvement in performance in both qualifying and the race next weekend.”

And engineering director Jacky Eeckelaert anticipated a “small step forward.”

If the more optimistic rumours are true then this would be massive progress for the Japanese team.

In Qualifying two at Indianapolis Antony Davidson went sixteenth fastest with a time of 1m 13.259. A time of 1m 12.259 would have put the Honda right in the mix just behind the Ferrari’s and BMW of Nick Heidfeld.

Of course you would have to factor in the gains that other teams have made over the two week break. Nevertheless Jenson Button will be praying that the one second rumours are true.

Predictions anyone? I don’t think Honda are going to radically haul themselves up the grid. A bad design is a bad design however many amendments you make. In my view Honda should be pooling all there resources into next year’s car. This was the approach taken by Red Bull and it seems to be paying dividends.

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