The Honda Racing F1 team enjoyed a 'successful' test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain this week, according to the squad's head of race and test engineering, Steve Clark.

Like virtually all of the teams, the Brackley-based outfit was in action for all four days, with test driver Alex Wurz getting proceedings underway on Tuesday, before 'racers' Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button took over on Thursday and Friday respectively.

The test saw an 'intensive programme of activity focusing on the final stage of the team's mid-season aerodynamic upgrade, the evaluation of a new rear suspension and further running of the Bridgestone slick tyres which will be used for the 2009 season'.

Speaking following the test on Friday, Clark noted that the changes to the rear suspension were a definite step forward: "This week's test in Jerez has been particularly busy for the team with developments in all areas including aerodynamic, engine, suspension, brakes and tyres. We have successfully completed an ambitious programme over the four-day test, in intensely hot weather conditions, which is very satisfying," he summarised.

"The significant upgrade to the rear suspension, which also brings an incorporated aero gain, has been evaluated by all three drivers who concur that the braking stability of the RA108 has improved.

"This is an issue which has previously prevented us from achieving a good balance on the car and, as well as being a gain for the remainder of this season, it will give us a strong direction for the 2009 car development.

"Also relevant to the 2009 car was the evaluation of the slick tyres by Alex. Using both compounds, we gained an important insight into what will be need to best exploit the tyres next year."

Alex Wurz and Rubens Barrichello meanwhile also seemed pretty pleased with their work over the test, with the former doing 161 laps over two-days and the latter clocking up 68 tours on day 3.

"I enjoyed the opportunity to have two days of running in the car this week," said Wurz. "The conditions were very good for testing, even when it became extremely hot as this puts the car and tyres under extra strain which is an excellent reliability test.

"We began with an evaluation of our new suspension components on Tuesday which provided some very interesting results. This was followed by a programme with the 2009 tyres on Wednesday with the aim of gathering data to assist in the development of our car for next season."

"I got a good feeling from the car with the new suspension and bodywork fitted on Thursday, although I did not complete a great deal of running due to the number of parts that we had to evaluate," added Barrichello.

"It is difficult to know how much of a step forward we have made at a test such as this where our competitors were running a mixture of slick and grooved tyres, so we should be better able to assess our progress in Budapest next Friday when we start work for the Hungarian Grand Prix."

 

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