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Posts Tagged ‘Rubens Barrichello’

Honda RA108

Honda 2008 Drivers

Honda RA108

The new Honda RA108 was unveiled in Brackley, UK this morning.

Alex Wurz was given the task of driving the new RA108 into the arena where the media were given their first look at the new car.

The new car features a globe on the engine cover, with 2 green stripes down the centre. It’s back to the traditional white car this year.

Below are the personal views of what Button / Barrichello / Wurz think of the new car

Jenson Button :
“My motivation is to be with a team that is setting its sights on performing at the highest level and in a car that is competitive and I have faith in Honda for the period that lies ahead. I want to win races and I want to be in contention to be world champion. The past five years have been challenging and last year was disappointing, but the team has recognised this and set about tackling the areas that have prevented us from achieving best performance. Everyone at the Honda Racing F1 Team has worked incredibly hard over the winter to develop the RA108 ready for the launch today. The changes that we have made to the team over the last six months of 2007 were exactly what the team needed to take us forward this year and I am confident that we have the right people, along with great support and resources from Honda, to achieve our targets.”

Rubens Barrichello :
“I had the opportunity to drive the RA108 for the first time in Valencia last week and although I ran for just a few laps in the new car, we were able to complete the planned activity. It is too soon to reach any conclusions about the car’s handling and performance, but I am looking forward to the Barcelona test this coming weekend and really getting to grips with the development of the RA108. This year will be my 16th season in Formula One and my third season with the Honda Racing F1 Team, but my love of the sport and my enthusiasm is undiminished. In fact, this year I will become the most experienced Grand Prix racer of all time, which is something that I am very proud of. We have a very strong development base this year with Alex Wurz joining the team and I am really pleased that he will be able to input his experience and knowledge into the RA108.”

Alex Wurz – Test & Reserve Driver :

“I have enjoyed getting to know the Honda Racing F1 Team over the past few weeks and took part in my first test with the team at Valencia last week with an acclimatisation programme in the RA107. So far I have only driven the RA108 for a few short metres at the launch event today so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to try out the new car later this week in Barcelona, when I will really be able to start contributing to the development programme. All three of my previous teams have been world championship winners and I am very proud that I have the opportunity to play a role in the pursuit of Honda’s ambitions.”

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The new Honda RA108 was unveiled in Brackley, UK this morning.

Below are the comments about the new car from Ross & Nick

Ross Brawn – Honda Team Principal said :

“The RA108 car is a wholly different concept to its predecessors, in terms of its aerodynamic layout and mechanical structure. The design philosophy has been developed to allow greater scope for aerodynamic packaging and exploitation, particularly to facilitate the introduction of performance upgrades through the season. The focus has been on attaining a high level of aerodynamic efficiency with stability and this is reflected in the way that the chassis has been revised to interact with the different aerodynamic features and the suspension. This approach should allow more potential for further developments to take place, the first of which will be for Melbourne when we will introduce a substantially revised aerodynamic package compared with the car we have launched today.The Honda RA808E engine is subject to the FIA engine homologation regulations and therefore the vast majority of engine components remain unchanged. The exhaust geometry and air box have changed to suit the RA108 aerodynamic package. An additional development is the FIA requirement that the fuel mix should now contain 5.75% biofuel – an initiative that Honda fully supports.
Two of the most significant regulation changes are in the areas of electronics and gearbox. The implementation of an FIA standard electronic control unit and software has meant hard work during the winter tests to integrate the new system with the RA108’s engine, gearbox and chassis systems. With traction control and other driver aids removed from the car there will be a greater emphasis on driver skill.The RA108 carbon composite gearbox has been designed to meet the new regulations which require each gearbox to complete four Grand Prix. We have conducted extensive running on a test bed to optimise the gearbox design and ensure that we can be confident of meeting the levels of reliability required. The design of the RA108 ensures that all key areas comply with the FIA safety regulations and crash test requirements for the impact structures, such as the nose, monocoque and rear impact structure. We have also increased the protection for the driver around the headrest area.Our target for 2008 is to get back to the position occupied during the second half of the 2006 season when Honda fought for points at every race. Only then will we have a stable base from which to target more ambitious results. Since joining Honda my focus has been on evaluating the resources and practices of the operation and understanding how we can progress. I commend the entire team on the effort and commitment they have shown after a disappointing 2007. We will have to wait and see how much of a performance step has been achieved with this car, but in terms of people and resources, all the right ingredients are in place with which to move the Honda Racing F1 Team forward in pursuit of its racing ambitions.”

Nick Fry – Honda Chief Executive Officer said :

“Following a year where we failed to live up to our own expectations, the team has made a number of key appointments in the second half of 2007 to strengthen our existing resource as well as bringing on board new knowledge and different experience. In particular, the arrival of Ross in the position of Team Principal has brought new impetus and confidence to the whole organisation. This time last year saw the beginning of a downward curve for us and there is a determined sense that this year we are back on track. We have done everything possible to honestly address the issues, which we have to view as valuable experiences which have helped to put us in better shape for this year and for the years ahead. Every area, from technical and aerodynamics to marketing, has been strengthened with world class resource. The disappointments of 2007 power our desire to do well in 2008. I am very pleased for our whole team that their hard work has resulted in the RA108 meeting all its design targets on paper. We now need to work hard between now and Melbourne to make sure that those translate into good track performance and to discover whether these targets are sufficiently high compared with the achievements of our competitors. Today also sees the introduction of earthdreams, a global cause related marketing programme inspired by the Honda Racing F1 Team and evolved from the 2007  “myearthdream” initiative. earthdreams mission is to harness the power of dreams by supporting, investing in and empowering inspirational projects that have a positive impact on the world around them which will be supported by Honda and its partners. We have already informed projects that have been supported by earthdreams so far and we look forward to working with existing and new partners to contribute to those good causes. In particular I would like to thank Seiko on behalf of the recipients for their generous contributions and support.”

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Rubens Barrichello 

Rubens Barrichello drove the new 2008 Honda RA108 in testing at Valencia this morning, bearing its plain white interim livery
The RA108 left the garage in plain white with no sponsorship details
The new car features a much higher nose , different air intakes and a very heavily revised rear end.

Honda will run the car in Spain for the rest of this week, before its official launch at Brackley next week

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