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article details
Author Zpeed
Categories Honda F1, News, Testing, BAR Specific
Create Date February 27, 2003 14:43
Last Update March 26, 2003 16:00
Pre-Season Q&A with Honda


The last off-season article you'll get from us, soon the season will kick off in Australia. Then we will know how all the new (hybrid?) cars compare to each other. But even more important, we will know how the new rules will work. Watching a F1 weekend will not be the same anymore!
The test results till now have been mixed. First good reliability but an avg speed. Later on that turned into less laps per session, but with quite laptimes. The last test looks promising, with a fast time and 78 laps! I think this can become an interesting season, with things we haven't seen from BAR before. Not much point talking about it untill the beginning of March.

First we will present the answers we got back from Honda, to your questions:

How much of the chassis receives direct input from Honda engineers?
Honda engineers are involved in all areas of the car's research and design but it is a combined effort. We have of course discussed specific things like suspension geometry and weight targets. Clearly the BAR group are predominantly responsible for chassis design but the joint chassis project is about R&D and long-term development.

How much of a leap in performance does Honda aim for when going from one year to the next?
Our target for the first race is to generate more power than at Suzuka last year. During the course of the 2003 season we want our engine to become the best in Formula One. As for the championship, we aim to compete with the top three teams with the objective of displacing one of them.

Will resources that were formerly used on the CART program be used on the F1 program? If so, will it have an impact?
As a result of Honda's move from CART to IRL, we've been able to transfer some of the engineers from the CART programme into Formula One. The IRL project is now funded and managed by American Honda not Honda R&D.

What are the pros and cons working solely with one team?
Our time won't be split between two teams as it was in 2002, so we will be able to focus solely on BAR. By working even closer together with our BAR counterparts, a greater understanding of mutual needs and resources develops, assisting in design challenges from mechanical issues such as the engine interface with the chassis and advanced technology applications such as control systems.

What's Honda's reaction to the recent changes in F1 regulations? (Renault already stated that they are not so happy with the intended ‘an-engine-should-last-6-races' rule)
The FIA has certainly given everyone lots to think and talk about! In general, we understand their comments about the need for cost-cutting, but would be concerned about any regulations that make Formula One not an exciting enough challenge for our engineers, or that lower its standing in the eyes of the public. On a practical note, our main concern is that the playing field is level. The rigorous application of the 2003 rules must be done in a way that does not disadvantage any of the teams.

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