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Honda wrap up Vallelunga test 24 Mar 2006

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda Racing F1 Team on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, 19 March 2006

Rubens Barrichello was back in the cockpit for Honda on Thursday as the team completed their three-day test at the Italian circuit of Vallelunga. Once again rain hampered progress, though the thunderstorms did at least give Barrichello and team mate Anthony Davidson the chance to try out Michelin’s latest extreme wet-weather tyres.

In the morning Barrichello completed some early runs to acclimatise himself to the circuit and track conditions. Davidson began the day running through further chassis set-up work before a rain shower brought the morning session to an early close. The weather conditions continued to deteriorate with heavy rain preventing any further running until the last hour of the day. In the end, Barrichello completed 46 laps with a best time of 1m 17.092s, with Davidson running for 82 laps, his quickest a 1m 15.937s.

"I had a few dry runs in the car this morning but was still learning the circuit by the time that it started raining,” said Barrichello. “The end of the day was more positive as I had a couple of runs right at the end on wet tyres to give me more of a feel for the car and set-up. This track has helped me test the new ideas that we have, which I found useful, and I will certainly be using these in Australia and hope to have a good weekend there."

"It was interesting going to a new circuit at Vallelunga this week, although we struggled with the weather,” added Davidson. “Day one was the best day of running where we did 140 laps. We have made good headway with some control developments over the week and found positive results. We also worked on general set-up for the car and put lots of mileage on one engine."

Barrichello, Davidson and team mate Jenson Button will next be on track at Albert Park in Melbourne in first practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Elsewhere in Italy, poor weather also affected Ferrari’s second day of testing at Fiorano. There the circuit started damp before drying in the afternoon, allowing Luca Badoer to carry out 120 laps of tyre work in preparation for Australia. Badoer, who will continue at the circuit on Friday, set a best time of 58.369s.