Jenson Button has set his sights on the top ten in this week’s Spanish Grand Prix as Honda begin their European assault fresh from a productive test at Barcelona.
The British hero stormed into the elite top-ten shoot out a fortnight ago in Bahrain underlining the progress that Honda have made this year.
Following a productive four day test at Barcelona last week in which the team ran a new aerodynamic update kit on the RA108, Button is hoping to repeat his desert success around the demanding Barcelona circuit.
“I am confident that we are in good shape,â€ enthused the 28-year-old. “The circuit here is very familiar so we will make the best use of our time on track to fine-tune the set-up of the car.
“We hope to be challenging for a top ten qualifying position again which would put us in position for a strong race."
Under the watchful eye of the much respected Loic Bigois, Honda’s Head of Aerodynamics, the Anglo-Japanese team have been working hard during the spring break to update the aerodynamic efficiency of their RA108.
Both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello have reported a significant improvement over lap time and will be hoping it is enough to catapult Honda past their mid-field rivals who have been making similar performance gains.
“We had a very successful four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya and were able to work through a lot of test items,â€ enthused Barrichello, who is set to equal Ricardo Patrese’s 1993 record of 256 grand prix starts at Barcelona this week.
“Our main focus was the mechanical and aerodynamic developments for the RA108 car at this race.
“We saw a significant lap time improvement with the new upgrades which is very pleasing, but as ever, we need to wait until the race weekend to determine how this will impact our position on the grid. I’m confident that we have continued to make good progress."
Team Principal Ross Brawn echoed his drivers’ satisfaction with current progress and cited a much improved RA108 all-round following the test.
"The team has made good progress at each race so far this season, gaining in confidence and performing better on each occasion,â€ revealed the Englishman.
“Our recent development push on the RA108 with a new aerodynamic package, suspension modifications and driveability improvements showed pleasing results during the four-day test this week.
“I expect these developments to add to our competitiveness and improve our points scoring potential at the Spanish Grand Prix and the races to follow."