The new Honda did some track mileage last week in Valencia. Today the official unveiling took part in Honda’s F1 headquarters in Brackley. Altgough no longer carrying the weight of the entire globe, the new mostly white Honda RA108 is also “green” with myearthdream message all over the chassis.
The new Honda livery is what kept the fans guessing for a while, but for Honda the performance of their 2008 challenger is what matters the most. Especially after the dismal 2007 season with their dog of a car (poor retired RA107). This is what Ross Brawn had to say about the car the team unveiled today:
“The difficulty with last year’s car was that it produced a lot of downforce but it was in a very aggressive way. The focus on this car has been to make sure we produce the aero downforce in a more friendly way, a more usable way. We have also slimmed down the chassis, changed some of the layout for the car to give it more potential, particularly with aero development in the future, because it is going to be a very intensive season of development for us. There are a lot of new ideas, and we wanted a car that could accept a wide variety of changes through the season.
The car you see here is very much a base spec, which was established back in October/November and you will see over the next few months before we get to Melbourne some quite dramatic changes in the car – a new engine cover, new floor, new wings, new bargeboards and area around there. So this is very much a starting spec and there is a good programme before Melbourne.”
Here are some more photos of the new Honda RA108, courtesy of Honda Racing F1:
This is what Honda drivers think:
Jenson Button (not giving up hopes of winning the drivers title one day):
“2007 as everybody knows was a very tough year for us. But in a way I think it was a good year, because it made us realise that a few things needed to change and that we were going in the wrong direction. And we have had the chance to put them right. I am looking forward to 2008 – and not just 2008 but the future with Honda.
For me the important thing is the improvement throughout the season. It’s all well starting with a reasonably competitive car, but it’s improving that’s the key I feel – and for us to improve race-by-race compared to our competitors is what we need to do. And that’s what we are aiming for.
The car looks good. The idea behind it is fantastic, it is very exciting. From the racing point of view, the car looks good, but what is important is what is underneath.
Well you know the final aim has to be to win the world championship. I think that is everyone’s aim in Formula One, but for us it is definitely possible. That’s my personal aim and I know it’s everyone’s in the team. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later, but first of all we have got to work with this car and improve race-by-race, and that is necessary to have a good car for next season.”
Rubens Barrichello (pointless for the first time in his career in 2007)
“It is always a great pleasure to drive the car. It’s that burning feeling inside your stomach. You know that feeling of driving the car. It was a shakedown, I have only completed 30 laps, and it felt well, it felt balanced. There was still some aerodynamic parts missing so it was just a shakedown. I think next week’s test is the one that starts to count.
It’s funny but it is like the beginning (of my career) for me. When I stay too long in Brazil I tend to overdrive the car on the road, so I miss the driving and it’s 16th (season) with pleasure.”