Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda unveiled its 2005 season challenger today - the B•A•R Honda 007 car - at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. The car marks the start of a new era for the team and is yet another major performance step, one which Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of B.A.R Honda predicts will launch B.A.R Honda into a new era and its three year challenge to win the World Championship by 2007.
The success of last year’s car was the result of a dramatic improvement in engineering standards, teamwork and cooperation between B.A.R and Honda, which enabled the team to move up from fifth to second place in the Championship, marking them out as the season’s most improved team.
A significant evolution of the 006, the B.A.R Honda 007 demonstrates a further improvement in design and build-quality. The new car is visibly smaller and its more unified development and integration with the engine has resulted in a tighter, more refined packaging and considerable weight saving despite the more onerous 2005 structural and crash test requirements.
The most visible differences to the external appearance of the car have been driven by the changes to the 2005 aerodynamic regulations, while under the skin the second-generation carbon-composite gearbox is a further development from the team’s innovative concept for 2004 and is lighter with improved internals designed and developed under the joint chassis programme.
Honda has produced a new engine to meet the challenge of the two- race rule introduced for the first time this season. Although similar in concept to the 2004 unit, it too is a completely revised design but is smaller, lighter and affords a lower centre of gravity.
For 2005, B.A.R Honda has also developed its partnership with tyre supplier Michelin. In addition to the team conducting an extensive programme of tyre development during winter testing, they have been working closely together on the design of the 2005 car.
Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer "Our performance in 2004 was very pleasing and second in the Championship was a credit to the effort and teamwork of each person at B.A.R Honda. However, we were all disappointed not to win a race and that has to be the first step in our three year plan to win the World Championship.
“The B.A.R Honda 007 is another step forward, not only in its design and performance but also because the design and build process went very smoothly. This confirms that the organisational and process changes implemented at B.A.R Honda over the last three years are robust and provide a strong core which enables development of our car through the year and from year to year in pursuit of our goals.
“The B.A.R Honda 007 also marks a new era in the integration of resources and skills between B.A.R, British American Tobacco and Honda following Honda’s purchase of 45% of our team. We believe that this really represents a winning formula.”
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director “I am delighted with the new B.A.R Honda 007. It is a logical next step for the team, being both a refinement of last year’s car concept as well as having a number of significant new developments. With the stability of the technical team and the increasingly close relationship with Honda, we have been able to build a much better integrated installation of engine, chassis and transmission. In addition, following a very successful first year with Michelin, we have been able to design the 007 specifically around their tyre characteristics as well as being able to drive the development programme for the demands of the new regulations.
“The most challenging elements of the new Technical Regulations are in the areas of aerodynamics and engine. In both cases we have undertaken an extremely intensive development programme and extensive testing with the ’05 Concept car. At the same time, the underlying objective was to produce a car that can close the gap to Ferrari and deliver B.A.R Honda its first race win. We are encouraged by what we have seen of our performance step so far but, as is always the case, we look forward to our real measure of success - the Australian Grand Prix in seven weeks’ time.”
Jenson Button “I am very much looking forward to the start of the season and getting back to racing. 2005 will be a very important year for B.A.R Honda as a team, to prove that 2004 wasn’t just a one-off. We need to show that we are a consistent top team and again can challenge McLaren and Ferrari for podiums.
“Winter testing has been very encouraging and I have done more mileage in this testing period than ever before. The car has shown good reliability, as has the engine, which is very important considering the new engine regulations whereby one engine must last for two races. Michelin is also doing a great job. We have been working very closely with them and the progress we have made with the tyres will make a big difference when we kick off the season in Melbourne. I am hoping, as are the team, that our first win is just around the corner.”
Takuma Sato "2005 looks like it will be a very exciting season. The regulation changes will make it very interesting and a big challenge for all the teams, not only from a technical point of view, but also because of the rule changes. B.A.R Honda had such a great season last year and are very fortunate to be carrying that momentum through to this season and I think that this will definitely help in our challenge for the 2005 Championship. I am going into my second season here with more experience, confidence and team stability. Obviously I want to push myself even harder to try and improve on my podium finish last year and my ultimate goal must be to challenge for more podiums and eventually to achieve my first win. This is a great feeling to have going into the new season and I am really looking forward to it!”
Anthony Davidson "We have completed a lot of mileage with the 2005 regulations set- up. Testing has been physically more demanding as we have had to complete more laps due to this year’s engine regulation. It will definitely be a fun and more challenging year! The B.A.R Honda 007 looks amazing and the new Honda engine feels good and has been reliable so far. Everyone in the team is highly motivated and although I am not racing this year I am in a very good position. To be testing for the second best team in the world is an opportunity that many drivers dream about."
Jimmi Rembiszewski, Director, Marketing, British American Tobacco “This is a very exciting new phase for Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda. Six seasons ago British American Tobacco embarked on its long-term strategy of winning the Formula One World Championship and it is pleasing to see progress finally being made in this direction. The investment in the team by Honda will give us the springboard to achieve the ultimate goal.”Takeo Kiuchi, Head of Worldwide Automobile Racing and Honda F1 Project Leader "The new regulations for 2005 set us an even greater challenge than we faced for 2004, when we produced a top class Formula One engine. This year we have concentrated on three areas. We have made the engine more compact and lowered the centre of gravity to improve the performance of the overall package. We have increased mid- to low- speed torque to improve acceleration at the start and exiting corners. Finally - this is our biggest challenge – we are aiming to maintain top power despite the new regulations.”
Please note pictures and comments in our forum (Source: Press Release Honda)