Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Honda gets Brawny for the upcoming season!

Ross Brawn is joining Honda! Yay! :D

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Maybe I'll get to reviving this blog back up now that it's the offseason again. :)

Anyhow, here's the tidbit that I'd like to share with the rest of the world. Good news for Jenson and the rest of the crew:

"Brawn named as Honda team principal" from the official Formula1.com site. You can also check out tons of content on Ross, as well as his first official interview with Honda, at the official Honda Racing F1 site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This Blog is Dead...

This blog is dead... for now. So sorry. I lost a fair amount of interest in blogging, and the will to write about Honda and Jenson given the current state of the team. So sad.

I'm still cheering Jenson on though, and I still check up on news. I just haven't been able to get myself to start posting again.

In the meantime, you can still check out his official site, www.JensonButton.com. It features regular Jenson and race updates, plus tons of discussions and games at the forum.

Oh, and you might want to try out the following free games (don't worry, all you'll need is your browser):

BATracer - A Free Racing Manager Game, one of the best out there, if not the best. Race in everything from F1 to A1, ChampCar, Le Mans, BTCCs, V8s and more! The Jenson forum also has its own private game. I've won the past two seasons, but I'm sitting the current one out. :P

Trophy Manger - My favorite, right up there with BATracer. Trophy Manager is a free, online football (soccer) manager game that gives you control over your very own club and all the responsibilities that come with it. Each country has its own league and its own set of divisions. There are also national teams (my country made it to the semifinal leg of the first ever FITA WC) and international club cups/competitions. It's really fun, and only takes a few minutes of your time to play it. You can even play against some of the people from the forums. Care for a friendly? :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jenson gets to testing in Malaysia

From HondaRacingF1.com:

Jenson Button joined the team in Sepang this afternoon to take over the test programme from Rubens for the remainder of the test. He completed a couple of runs to acclimatise himself with the circuit and conditions before working through a chassis set-up evaluation completing 24 laps.

Jenson will complete the final day of testing tomorrow.

The RA107 still isn't showing signs of speed, and Rubens' engine blew out. Ouch.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nowhere else to go but up

Ouch. That was quite painful to watch. At least Rubens found some pace late and finished ahead of the Aguri. That's about it though. The rest of the race was just miserable for the team, especially Jenson. Getting a drive-through penalty for an already slow car just adds insult to injury.

I'll try to post results and all kinds of reports and Jenson stuff soon. Just feeling quite glum at the moment.

At least there's no way it can get any worse right? Let's hope Honda get their car sorted out by next race, so Jenson can start driving the wheels off of it come race day. One fast, fast lap is good enough for me at this point. Something to give hope at least.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Honda struggles to find pace in qualifying

This was rather bad. One Aguri made it to the top ten, and the other just missed out. The Hondas meanwhile were further back. Makes one wonder if the teams might have accidentaly switched cars during production.

Why on earth are the Aguris running so fast and the Hondas running so slow? We could blame the Bridgestone switch, which the factory Honda team is still getting used to. Or maybe we could blame it on the livery - perhaps the images of Earth simulate the Earth's weight too and slow the car down. Whatever, the Hondas got their butts kicked by the Aguris. And everyone else.

Jenson could only manage 14th, while Rubens didn't even make the first cut, qualifying a lowly 17th.

Here's what Jense had to say, from Formula1.com:

Jenson Button, Honda (14th, 1m 27.264s):
"It hasn't been a good weekend for us so far. Today it was difficult to judge how hard to push the tyres. At the start of the lap I was getting understeer because the tyres were not up to temperature, then later in the lap I was getting oversteer as the rears were going off, which just shows the issues that we have. I got the best out of the car today and right now we are where we are. We'll obviously do what we can for the race, then we have some work to do to start addressing the issues we have identified."

Honda better get this sorted out soon. It's going to be very painful to see the Aguris of all teams finish much higher than them. I mean, the least they could do is finish ahead of those cars. Sigh.

Race starts in just over an hour. Let's hope it won't be so hard to watch.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Button in doubt?

Button up for a tought fight

Jenson Button admits there is a lot of work to do if Honda are to match their expectations after a disappointing performance in the first official practice sessions of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Somerset man finished the morning session in fifth place but could manage only 14th in afternoon practice as he struggled with the car's stability.

Button has already written off his team's chances of a podium finish here and has expressed doubts about whether they will even be able to secure a top-10 finish during qualifying.

And the 27-year-old believes it is crucial they are able to get to the bottom of the problems that undermine the Honda car.

Has Jenson really written off his chances of a podium finish? I'd like to see him prove himself wrong.

More on the article by Gary Rose at www.sportinglife.com

Could the Hondas really have been running heavy?

From Honda's official press release:

Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director
"Our plan for today was to run through our usual race preparation programme with set-up work during the morning session, then focusing on long runs in the afternoon. In view of the damp conditions, we adapted the programme slightly. Rubens' afternoon was brought to an early conclusion as he spun entering the last corner causing some damage to the car. Unfortunately we were unable to repair it in time to take part in the rest of the session. Jenson completed his planned programme giving us some valuable data to study this evening as we work to improve the balance of the car before qualifying tomorrow."

Okay... so Honda were doing set-up work in the afternoon when they were reasonably quick, and long runs in the afternoon. Hmm... so they were running heavy?

"The cars will now have fresh engines installed overnight, ahead of tomorrow’s opening qualifying session of the year."

Or maybe they were running on slower engines. :D

Friday, March 16, 2007

Super Aguris outpace Honda

So much for being "Honda B". At the second round of free practice on Friday both Ant Davidson and Taku Sato set faster times in their Aguris than their factory Honda counterparts.

Little surprise that both Ferraris topped the afternoon timesheets. But for Honda to be way down in the timesheets AND outpaced by the Super Aguris, customer car or not... well, that might be cause for some concern.

What exactly is wrong with the Honda? There's been a lot of discussion regarding their dismal form over winter testing, specially after projecting themselves among the top runners in this years' field. Are they struggling? Why can't they seem to find any pace?

Your guess is as good as mine. I'd say Honda could be playing coy and are simply playing things down (way down). They could just be focusing on maintaing race pace and reliability after already having privately tested flat out pace. Or they could really be struggling, which is really going to be very disappointing for us fans.

On its own, Honda's engine should perhaps be among the best in the field. But if they really are stuggling then it's very likely that the team is having difficulty setting up and getting the car to drive like it should with those Bridgestones on. I just hope they get things sorted out. Sooner than later too. In the meantime, we'll just have to hope and wait for race day itself.

Anyhow, here's what Jenson had to say about their dismal afternoon run, from Formula1.com:

“It’s quite realistic in a way,” 14th-fastest Jenson Button admitted glumly. “We didn’t have the best winter, we were improving the car all the time but it’s still not where want to be. We are really struggling under braking as many drivers behind us found, we have a stability issue, but that’s not all of it, just a part of it. It’s going to be a tough weekend!”

Somebody please tell me that they're just planning on taking everyone by surprise?

Wet Friday morning kicks off season!

Wet weather racing is always so much more fun to watch and read about. :D

In an excellent start to this year's Formula One season, a damp but drying track provided some exciting moments at the Melbourne track, with times steadily dropping as practice wore on and all the teams seemingly getting in the mix. Conditions like these make it difficult to assess exactly how far along these cars are - i.e. Taku going 11th fastest while Kimi holds out for 19th - so there's still a big air of suspense, at least on my part, for the later practices and the race itself. I'm still dying to see how these cars stack up against one another on bone dry conditions.

Two things I'm sure of at this point though, Fernando Alonso will always be quick, and Jenson Button is an amazing wet weather driver. Both guys were mixing it up rather well eh? Too bad Kimi sat out the latter stages of practice. Oh well. Great start still. Here's a good progressive commentary/recap from Formula One's official website:

A slippery start in Melbourne

Go Jenson GO GO GO! :) :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One more day!

Just a little over 24 hours to go until the first Friday practice session of the year! YAY! That means I get back to posting to keep everyone else posted too!

Here's a little Jenson quote from Formula.com:

Jenson Button, Honda
2006 Qualifying - 1st, 2006 Race - 10th
"Obviously Melbourne is a very special place for me as the circuit where I made my F1 debut. But it's more than just the race track in Albert Park. I love the very special atmosphere of the city, both in its own right and from the sheer buzz involved in being at the first race of the season. The setting of the circuit is also one of the best on the calendar.

“It is very important to get your corner apexes right here. On some circuits braking is the most important thing, but here there are so many chicanes and ess-bends that you have to be very precise and consistent. Everything that you have been working on over the winter needs to come together for the first race of the season, so its about choosing the right race strategy, making sure that the pit crew get everything right and good mechanical reliability.”

All you Jenson fans out there - do cheer Jenson on for what could be a spectacular season of racing and great runs! And remember, Jenson was able to qualify for pole here last year! GO JENSON GO GO GO! :P

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What are the people at Honda thinking?

So you've seen the car and heard about Honda raising awareness for environmental change. But how exactly do they plan on going about it all?

In SportNetwork.net's How are Honda going to make a difference?, Phil Huff reports on the car manufacturer's plan of action.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Honda launch radical, sponsor-free livery

Race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barichello were both on hand as Honda unveiled a radical new livery set to feature none other than an image of Earth itself. While sponsor-free to the naked eye, people can actually pledge to have their name as part of the pixels used to build that very image of Earth on the car, all for a good cause.

Here's a sample image of the car, courtesy of HondaF1.com:

And here's an exerpt from HondaF1's official press release:

Honda Racing F1 Team launches pioneering environmental concept

The Honda Racing F1 Team today announced a major new initiative for the 2007 Formula 1 season. To help raise awareness of the environmental issues facing the planet, the RA107 F1 car will simply feature a huge image of earth, in place of the advertising and sponsor logos which have featured and dominated all other F1 cars for decades.

The car’s new look is a powerful call to action for fans, sponsors, customers and members of the public to join Honda’s commitment to help address the environmental issues facing the world.

Via the websitewww.myearthdream.com, anyone who wishes, will have the opportunity to have their name on the car, make a pledge to make a lifestyle change to improve the environment and make a donation to an environmental charity. Under the concept of “our car is your car”, each name will form a tiny individual pixel which will help build the image of planet earth on the car. Each name will be visible on the website when you make the pledge or under a microscope on the car.

More news and images at Honda's official website, of course.

You can also check out major f1 news sites, like this one from f1.gpudate.net.

It'll be interesting to see these Google Earth... I'm sorry, Honda Earth cars line up alongside the more conventionally-liveried cars come Melbourne. ;)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Livery launch date set

From F1Technical:

The Honda Racing F1 Team will present the RA107's new livery on 26 February. In January, the team already launched the challenger, but the livery still hasn't been released. According to Nick Fry, the new livery will be something that has never been seen in F1. Rumours have been spread for months now that BP will be the new main sponsor of the team, which would result in a green livery.

Can't wait to see it. One more month til the season kicks off, too. Hurrah!

Latest testing report - Barcelona

Another week of testing wraps up. Here's Honda's official press release:

Honda concludes three day Barcelona test

And here's the ever-growing worry over Honda's seemingly dismal pace:

What's wrong with the performance of the RA107?
Honda's pace cause for concern?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jenson Button on Formula1.com!

"The Lesser know... Jenson Button", from Formula1.com

We get up close and personal with Honda’s resident football fan and porridge lover, the one and only Jenson Button…

Q: What's in your garage at home?
JB: I have a Honda S2000 in Monaco.

Q: Tell us something we don't know about you?
JB: I am a big Arsenal fan. I also love porridge and a good roast dinner.

Q: Your favourite song for karaoke?
JB: ‘The One and Only’ by Chesney Hawkes.

Q: The last good deed you did?
JB: I am a patron of the Make A Wish Foundation which is really important to me and we have just invited two children from the Foundation to come and visit me at the Honda Racing F1 Team factory on Brackley in a couple of weeks.

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your special powers be?
JB: I travel so much that I guess the special power I would like to have is to be able to fly - then I wouldn’t have to wait in all the queues at airports…

Q: Your most prized possession?
JB: As far as racing goes my most prized possessions are my racing helmets. Other than that I don’t really have any prized possessions. My family and friends are what is most important to me.

Q: The person you most admire?
JB: I admire Bono from the band U2 and also Lance Armstrong for his dedication to his sport.

Q: Do you have any bad habits?
JB: I have a short attention span.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a racing driver?
JB: I am a racing driver, so I don’t know what I would be if I wasn’t - I’ll find out after F1…

Q: Funniest thing you've read about yourself in the press?
JB: That my girlfriend is going to be a grid girl. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie?
JB: Owen Wilson. He’s awesome!

Owen Wilson? :P

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Talk, talk, talk. Pft.

As teams continue to run their cars through testing sessions, the rest of us can only watch and speculate as the season draws closer to its starting date. And so it's this driver this, this driver that or the car might be this, etc. To be quite honest, all of it's gotten rather old and tedious for me to listen to and read, and I would much rather watch the first race of the season before making any real assessment of where everyone stands.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really hoping that Honda does well this season, and I can't wait to see what livery they'll be running with. And I'm particularly pleased that Jenson's karting shunt doesn't seem to have affected his fitness level at all, as he's consistently been putting in a ton of laps as he begins to grow more and more comfortable in the RA107. But all this talk is just driving me nuts. I mean, if I was at Honda, I'd just keep mum and focus on devolopment and get the best car out there by Melbourne.

Let's just get this out of the way then. Here's the latest buzz to come out on Jenson, Mike Gascoyne Button-bashing:

'Button lacks spark needed to win title'

Honda's Jenson Button lacks the "spark" that marks out potential World Champions, according to Spyker technical boss Mike Gascoyne.

Button has won just one race in seven seasons of Formula One - last year's rain-hit Hungarian GP - but has often been likened in ability to double World Champion Fernando Alonso and Ferrari new boy and multiple race-winner Kimi Raikkonen.

But that is not a view subscribed to by Gascoyne, who worked with Button at what is now Renault in 2001 and 2002, before Alonso took the Briton's seat for the 2003 campaign.

Can't win over everyone, I suppose. And Honda haven't exactly been blowing away the competition at the timesheets lately. But considering Jenson's been putting in a ton of laps getting comfy with the car and giving priority to the car's balance instead of just gunning for outright pace, and the second driver (be it Klien or Andretti) has been running the old chassis, I'd say there isn't any real reason to panic. I'll just be looking for Jenson and Honda's performance at the start of the season to do all the real talking (and I am hoping for it to be on the positive side).

So, for the next 36ish days, my posts might be few and far between. I will try to keep tabs on very important updates and events, but I can't promise much at the moment. Rest assured, once the season gets underway, I will get back to posting regularly. Whatever the talk that comes out. Do check back then. :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So much has happened in just a week...

Gosh, so much to report on. Let's see... where do I start?

Jenson's back in form, which is the best news of all. His ribs are healed up, and he looks to be in top shape.

"Although I have been out of the car for a while, I am very pleased with my return to the cockpit and also my fitness level, which I have been working hard on since

That's from Jenson talking about his immediate future with Honda, as he hopes to move closer to his first ever F1 Title. He also talked about his plans further up ahead (like at age 34) in "the Times", a copy of which is in the official forums I think.

Jenson really does look set to present a serious challenge for this year's championship, and others are taking notice as well. Here's DC proclaiming, Jenson Button's gonna conquer F1". From a fan's perspective, that's a pretty good headline if I ever saw one. Hehe. And I am praying and hoping that it holds true.

He's a man on a mission this year. And I hope the entire Honda team does get behind him and challenges for the top spot. Honda seems ready enough, and they've recently launched their new car (sans the new livery, which happens next month) at Barcelona. Jenson was able to drive both the RA106 and the new RA107 for some direct comparison, and he looks to have come away feeling good about the new car. It did stall on his first lap out, but once Jenson got going he was able to put in a well-driven 86 laps.

That about does my week ending report for now. For all that you've missed, you can catch up by checking out Honda's offical site at HondaRacingF1.com, or at Jenson's official site at JensonButton.com. To make things easy, you can also Google News for the latest on Jenson (I've set the link to already filter things out).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Honda RA107 shakedown!

Honda's launch is less than a week away (Thursday, January 25)! Wohoo!

Even better, their shakedown is set for this Monday at Silverstone.

Honda will shake down their new Formula One car at Silverstone next week before shipping it to Barcelona for the team launch.

The team's senior technical director Shuhei Nakamoto told autosport.com that the new car will have a shakedown at Silverstone on the morning of Monday, January 22, just to ensure there are no niggling problems before its first serious test at Barcelona.

After the shakedown the car will be transported immediately to Spain.

Reporters'll very likely be there to report on how the car goes... and looks, even if the livery hasn't been set yet. You can check out the thread at the official forum here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Jenson Button!!

Happy Happy Birthday Jenson!!

May your 27th year bring you all the very best!

For those who haven't yet, you can send him your greetings/birthday wishes at the Happy Birthday Jenson forum thread.:)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jenson's latest video message

NOTE: Whoops.. sorry, forgot to publish this one. :P

Jenson's got a new video message! You can watch it over at his official site, www.jensonbutton.com.

I'll post a vidcap as soon as I can. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What if F1 had similar cars for all the teams? :P

Just browsing through news articles from last year. Here's an exerpt that got me thinking, from when Jenson said he could do better than Schumi:

"I'd be devastated if I didn't win the championship because it's what I've always wanted to achieve," he added. "I work so hard - harder than people realise. If I didn't win the world championship in the future I won't be able to live with myself, probably. But Honda won't leave F1 until they win the championship.

"I'm not satisfied because I'm disappointed to have spent so long not winning races. I've been asked the question so many times about not winning in 100 races. But nobody would have won a race in the cars that I had in those 100 races. I'm 100 per cent sure of that."

Don't you just wish there was a way to test how these drivers would perform given similar machinery, ala A1? I know part of what makes F1 great is too see just how far these manufactures can take and develop their cars, given all the rules and technology at hand. But it's about the drivers too. Wouldn't it to have been nice to see just how fast Alonso already was in his Minardi days compared to the rest of the field? Or even Jenson in his Benetton days, for that matter.

Maybe F1 could do a sprint race, where they all race similar machinery, like in A1. Hahaha. So you'd have a race of drivers. And then you could follow that up with the drivers stepping in their team cars for the feature race. :P Or even just a one-off race at the end of the year where they race cars made somewhat according to the winning manufacturer's specs, or at the start of the year even, using a car patterned after the previous season's winner. :P

Just wishful thinking. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New cars, new looks, same contenders

From the official (see the likes of McLaren's MP4-22), to the not so official (see Renault's R27 racer), new cars are rolling out for 2007, giving us sneak peeks into what the cars will look like once they take to the circuits for a brand new season of Formula One racing.

It's all very exciting to see what shapes and liveries the new cars take on, and even seeing the drivers in their all new looks and do's as well. Fernie with his new haircut and Vodafone suit, Kimi in red (which I personally find not to be his color at all). Unfortunately for us Honda and Jenson fans, we have and will continue to be waiting a tad longer to see what the new car will look and drive like (RA107 launch is late January, with the livery to follow at a yet to be announced date the following month). And because of Jenson's injury, we have also yet to see Jenson suit up and drive during winter testing.

No matter though, a lot if it should still stay the same for Honda and its drivers. It's arguably got the most continuity and stability going for it among the top teams (Gil de Ferran has gone on record saying that it is a positive, as has Nick, although we best not get our hopes up too much). Fernando Alonso echoed these sentiments recently, when sharing how he "fully expects" Jenson to be one of his main rivals for this year's championship (*knock on wood*).

So has anything really changed? In terms of who's favored, probably not. Jenson, Kimi and Fernie are still up there; Massa and Fischi are bound to be mixing it up as well. It's all speculation at this point anyway. But, as a fan, I do hope 2007 will be more exciting, and have more surprises in store for us. And hopefully for Jense fans, it'll be of the good kind - plenty of exciting racing capped by both expected and unexpected wins galore.

Anyone got a fast forward Button? :P

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hill drops a word on Button, too

Here's former world champion Damon Hill dropping a word on Jenson, as he talks about Britain's current crop of hopefuls for the 2007 season:

Hill said Button, who took his first grand prix win in Hungary last August, was a much stronger driver than the appearances suggested.

"This year has to be the best chance we've had since I won the championship for there to be another British world champion," he said.

"I have great faith in Jenson. I think he has a whole team around him so you can compare his position quite well to that of Michael Schumacher at Ferrari...He's got a very good chance of winning on a regular basis."

I can't wait for the season to start. These outlooks and predictions are wearing thin. I wish the actual racing would get on soon. And I do hope Jenson's completely healed up from his injury by now. Can't wait to see him back behind the wheel.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Back to blogging for the new year!

Internet's back! Wohoo! Well, sort of at least. So sorry that I've been unable to update for the past two weeks. I feel like I've missed out on so much already.

So to start off the new year, I'll just be posting some links to some stories that came out the past weeks that might be of interest:

Kimi mentions Jenson as a possible contender, behind Fernando and Felipe.

Honda to unveil RA107 on January 25. Sorry though, it's going to be coming out in its testing colors (likely black). The livery launch will be held at a later date, sometime in February.

Jenson on how winning has... or hasn't changed him.

Button urging Honda to make relaxed predictions. Less time with the press, more time with the car? :P

Blundell on the Brits. With an excerpt (sorry, just couldn't resist with this one :P):

ITV-F1.com: Jenson certainly finished the year with some classy performances following his first win; do you expect that level to continue into the coming season?

Mark: It has to continue.

The raising of his game highlights the increased confidence following his win.

Whenever you get a result like that your confidence level does grow.

And now in the eyes of everybody he is exactly what it says in the history books – a grand prix winner.

He goes into next year with that mindset and that’s the level he has to work from to go and achieve something greater.

There are no ifs and buts any more; he has now achieved what everybody has been waiting for over the past few years.

Britain’s next best hopes are now waiting in the wings, so the current hope needs to deliver the results.

and last but not the least, Honda convinced of competitive engine.