JANUARY 25, 2006
Honda unveils the new RA106
The Honda Racing F1 Team has revealed its new RA106 which will be raced this year by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. The new car is the work of Geoff Willis and his design team at Brackley and marks the first Honda chassis in F1 since the company withdraw after its first F1 adventure in 1968. The team has lofty ambitions for 2006 after a difficult year in 2005.
"Our target in 2006 is to challenge for race wins and we will do our utmost to achieve that objective," said team boss Nick Fry. "During 2005 we put in place some important building blocks that will help us meet our targets in 2006 and beyond.Ê We secured two of the best racing drivers in the world, we proved our ability to develop a car through the season, resulting in points for Jenson in each of the last 10 races, and we gained a better understanding of the strengths of the 2004 car and the issues with our 2005 race car. Lastly, and most importantly, we have works team status with access to the technical resources of Honda R&D."
Willis says that the new car is an evolution of the recent BAR-Hondas.
"The RA106 is the product of four years of steady evolution," he said. "During this time, the team has developed a high level of technical capability which now sees it designing, manufacturing and operating at the highest level on the grid. The emphasis now is on integration and combining our design concepts and expertise to achieve a car capable of challenging for race wins. One of our key areas of focus has been aerodynamics, the design considerations for which were two-fold - the aero problem that we faced in 2005 and achieving a significant improvement in aerodynamic efficiency to meet the requirements of the new, smaller V8 engine and its implications on chassis design. We are pleased with the progress we have made in the wind tunnel over the winter and our data shows that we have made a good step forward.Ê Mechanically, in keeping with the evolutionary theme we have refined our various concepts including our third generation carbon composite gearbox. Honda has produced a new engine to meet the challenge of Formula One's switch from V10 to V8 power. The new RA806E is the result of a very intensive year's work with many concepts designed and tested since the prototype first ran in May 2005. Since the latest specification started running in November 2005, the team has been encouraged by its reliability and performance."
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