Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jenson gets to testing in Malaysia


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

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

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

“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

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