Honda take BAR back to the future 02 Dec 2005
Honda Racing F1 Team is the new name chosen by Honda for their Formula One team following the Japanese auto giants recent acquisition of the full 100 percent shareholding in BAR. Honda say the name has been selected to reflect their rich and successful heritage in the sport - a theme which they claim will permeate every element of the team's new identity.
During their first two generations of Formula One competition - from 1964 to 1968 as a constructor and from 1983 to 1992 as an engine supplier to the likes of Williams and McLaren - Honda won eleven world titles in both the constructors' and drivers' championships, with a total of 71 race wins.
Taking inspiration from these historic Honda cars, the teams 2006 car will be the called the RA106 and its new V8 Honda engine will be the RA806E, consistent with the naming conventions used in the companys previous two generations of F1 competition. In RA106, the RA stands for Racing Automobile, the 1 for Formula One, and the 06 for 2006 season. In RA806E RA, the 8 signifies 8 cylinders, and the E, engine.
The team's full competition entry name will be Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team. Whilst founding partner and former shareholder British American Tobacco has agreed to sell their equity in the team, 2006 will see a continuation of their Lucky Strike title sponsorship programme and the brand identity will continue to form the basis of the teams race car livery next season.
Commenting on the new team name, Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer, said: "Over the past few weeks I have been delighted to observe the progress we have made in the transition to Honda ownership. The name change is perhaps the clearest manifestation of the fact that we are now all part of Honda. It creates a focal point for the team culture going forward, and with an eye towards Honda's proud heritage, the name reminds us all that we have the depth, determination and resource required to fulfil our racing ambitions."
Although the team's 2006 race car livery will have a familiar feel, the team has unveiled a new look for its '06 Concept car, which the team began testing this week in Barcelona. Honda Racing White provides the base canvas, a colour which has been synonymous with the Honda motorsport identity since the RA271, driven by Ronnie Bucknum, marked Honda's F1 debut at the Nurburgring in 1964. The more familiar red, combined with elements of the Lucky Strike brand's colour palette, complete the new livery, which will be used throughout the winter testing period leading up to the track debut of the RA106 race car.
The '06 Concept car combines this year's BAR Honda 007 race chassis with the newly-designed 2006 rear end components, including the all-new Honda V8 engine. The Concept car plays a vital role in the development of next year's car, allowing for the early running of the new powertrain, gearbox and rear suspension assembly.
Whilst the Concept car livery is already on show at the Circuit de Catalunya, the new team name was confirmed by the FIA on Thursday in its publication of the official 2006 team entry list and will be introduced with immediate effect.
In addition, the FIA has published the 2006 driver entry list, which confirms that the team's driver line-up of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button will compete with driver numbers 11 and 12 respectively. The allocated driver numbers reflect the team's position in the 2005 constructors' championship, with Button relinquishing his right, as the incumbent driver, to the lead entry number and handing it to Barrichello after learning how special the number has been to him throughout his career.