Ross Brawn expects Honda to take another step forward this weekend as a
result of further developments to an already vastly improved – and now
points-scoring – RA108.
The Anglo-Japanese squad arrives in Istanbul fresh from its first points of
the season courtesy of Jenson Button who hustled his upgraded Honda to sixth
place in Barcelona place having started thirteenth.
With further aerodynamic updates planned for Turkey, esteemed technical
director Ross Brawn is confident that Honda can challenge for a top-ten grid
position and bring home another solid points haul.
“Although there is no opportunity to test before this race, we will have
some small refinements to the car and aero package to suit the
characteristics of this particular circuit,” commented the Englishman.
“I am expecting the RA108 to perform slightly better around Istanbul Park
than in Barcelona, where we suffered with ride quality over the bumpy
surface, so I believe we can look forward to challenging for the top ten in
qualifying and hopefully scoring points again.”
Jenson Button echoed Brawnï¿½s sentiments pointing to a significant
improvement in performance as a result of a major upgrade to the R108 over
the spring break.
“The Spanish Grand Prix was our first major upgrade to the RA108 and the new
aero package definitely gave us a performance improvement over the weekend,” enthused the 28-year-old. “It’s good to know that we are improving the car
step-by-step and I was able to develop a good understanding of the new
Brawn, who has had a colossal impact on Honda’s fortunes already despite
having little influence over the design of this year’s car, was delighted
with Buttonï¿½s performance at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“We were extremely pleased to pick up our first points of the season in
Barcelona and it was just reward for the efforts that everyone has put in
over the last few months. We took many positives from the race weekend,
including the good performance of the new aero package and our strategy
working well, with the execution of the pit stops being especially good.”
But he warned that Honda must continue to keep pushing forward: “Of course,
there are challenges to be overcome, however I am confident we have the
right attitude and commitment to resolve these. There is tremendous
potential in this team and our three points in Barcelona was the first step
at the start of a very intense few months of racing.”
Discounting Honda’s bogey year in 2007, Turkey has been something of a happy
hunting ground for the Brackley-based outfit with Jenson Button twice
scoring in the top five in 2005 and 2006.