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Honda unveil the RA107 in Spain 25 Jan 2007

Rubens Barrichello, Honda RA107 Technical Insight launch and running - Barcelona, January 24, 2007. © 2007 Honda Racing F1 Team

Honda’s 2007 car was officially launched at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday morning. With it the team hope to build on the success that brought them victory in last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix and fourth place in constructors’ championship.

The RA107, the first car to be built by the Honda team since their new, full-scale wind tunnel became operational, will again be raced by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Supporting them will be test drivers Christian Klien and James Rossiter.

Barrichello had the honour of completing the car’s maiden shakedown run at the circuit on Wednesday, while Button will get his chance to sample it later today.

“We had an encouraging first day of running with the new RA107 here in Barcelona yesterday and my first impressions were good ones,” said Barrichello. “I am impressed by how the car and the team have evolved during my first year here and it is clear that the RA107 is a step in the right direction.

“The RA107’s new steering and suspension geometry is better suited to the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres, giving a good balance. The revised traction control system also makes it possible for us to get closer to maximising the potential of the tyres.”

Designing the new car began at the start of last season and combined the efforts of Honda’s UK staff in Brackley and Bracknell and those of their Japanese colleagues in Tochigi. Emphasis was placed on improving aerodynamic efficiency, leading to some innovative packaging solutions to allow for much tighter bodywork, particularly around the car’s exhausts and radiators.

“We are proud to present the product of a year’s excellent co-operation between Honda facilities in the UK and Japan,” commented Nick Fry, the team’s CEO. “Although the different engineering groups have worked closely for several years, the RA107 is a true international team effort involving hour by hour communication, strong team work and great team spirit across the globe.

“This year we aim to build on the latter part of the 2006 season and successful pre-Christmas testing, during which we completed more testing than any other team. We intend to benefit from continuity of drivers and key personnel, combined with performance improvement designed into the new RA107 using our full-scale wind tunnel which was completed last season, to move closer to realising our world championship ambitions.”

The new car was unveiled in Honda’s now traditional black testing colours. Its official 2007 race livery will be revealed at a separate event next month.