The official presentation of the Honda Racing F1 Team’s 2008 challenger took place today at the team’s operational headquarters in Brackley, UK. The launch followed an initial shakedown period with the all-new RA108 in Valencia last week, in which the team’s race drivers put evaluation mileage on the car.
The role of unveiling the RA108 in the team’s 2008 livery today was assigned to new Test and Reserve Driver Alex Wurz. At the wheel of the car for the very first time, Alex drove the RA108 through the pitlane themed auditorium in front of the assembled crowd of 300 international media and guests.
Honda laid out its plans for 2008 and the longer-term, reaffirming its commitment to the sport and underlining the determination of a revitalised team to realise its ambitions. The team’s 2008 challenge sees a substantial evolution in three key areas, the most fundamental of which is a directional step change in the car design philosophy. The entire process from concept to launch has been re-evaluated. The new car is a considered response to the challenges of 2007, benefiting from the combined resources of the Honda Racing F1 Team’s three bases in Brackley and Bracknell in the UK and the Honda R&D centre at Tochigi in Japan.
The RA108 is also the product of a strengthened engineering team, combining the depth of experience of the existing resource with new and wide-ranging expertise in key areas under the leadership of new Team Principal Ross Brawn. In turn the team will benefit from the continuity provided by the race driver pairing of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello for a third successive season. Combined with the development talents of Test and Reserve Driver Alex Wurz, Honda will field the most experienced driver line-up on the Formula One grid.
The launch of the RA108 and its livery also saw the introduction of the team’s earthdreams programme. earthdreams is the evolution of the award winning myearthdream concept launched in 2007 and represents the next stage of Honda’s long term commitment to harnessing the passion of Formula One and its partners to provide support and investment for good causes through a unique cause related marketing initiative.
Moving the focus from raising environmental awareness to action, the Honda Racing F1 Team and its partners have committed $1.2 million, with $700,000 already allocated. The first of the earthdreams supported projects was also announced today. The team paid particular tribute to its partner Seiko (www.seikowatches.com) who have been generous supporters of the earthdreams initiative.