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Honda expecting small step forward in France 26 Jun 2007

Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA107 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, United States Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Indianapolis, USA, Saturday, 16 June 2007 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA107 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2007 (L to R): Nick Fry (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team Chief Executive Officer with Jacky Eeckelaert (BEL) Honda Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2007

Honda are still hunting their first point of 2007 as they head to this weekend’s French Grand Prix. However, in light of their successful test in Spain last week, the Japanese team are optimistic of an improved showing at Magny-Cours.

While the majority of teams battled with rain showers at Silverstone, Honda headed to the sunnier climes of Jerez, where Jenson Button and tester Christian Klien got to trial a number of improvements to the RA107.

The team hope these developments will stand them in good stead for the forthcoming French race.

"We made some good progress at the three-day test in Jerez where the excellent weather allowed us to fully complete our planned programme,” commented Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda’s senior technical director.

“We were therefore able to sign off various new mechanical parts and an aerodynamic upgrade for the RA107 as well as further improvements to the stability under braking. We expect a small improvement in performance in both qualifying and the race next weekend at Magny-Cours."

Jacky Eeckelaert, the team’s engineering director, echoed Nakamoto’s comments: “Our initial conclusion is that the results from this week are positive and that we have seen a good correlation between the track data and the results from the wind tunnel. Therefore we expect to make a small step forward in performance at the next race."

Button ran 122 of Honda’s 260 test laps at Jerez and reported that every single one of them was useful, although he was slightly more cautious on Honda’s chances of closing the gap to their rivals in France. “I believe it was a positive test. However we need to wait until we get to Magny-Cours to see where we stand compared to the other teams."

Honda’s best results to date in 2007 have been tenth places for Button’s team mate, Rubens Barrichello, in Spain and Monaco.