Honda prepare to welcome in their fresh start 28 Jan 2008
Honda will follow the lead of Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota and BMW Sauber this week as they hold the official launch of their 2008 challenger, the RA108. The Japanese squad are hoping to wow guests assembled at their UK base in Brackley on Tuesday.
After enduring a disastrous 2007 campaign, during which they scored just six points, Honda could have easily eschewed a glitzy presentation in favour of a more low-key approach. There is, however, a real desire within the team to turn their fortunes around in 2008 and their fans will no doubt hope the decision to hold an official launch is indicative of a renewed optimism.
Newly-installed team principal Ross Brawn will be at the RA108's unveiling, as will CEO Nick Fry and Yasuhiro Wada, general manager of the Honda Motor Sports Division. The teams race line-up of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will also be present.
Together, Button and Barrichello represent one of the most experienced line-ups on the Formula One grid, with almost 400 Grand Prix starts between them. And with both having notched up multiple seasons with the team, it is hoped that their continuity will also aid Honda's recovery.
In Valencia last week, both got the opportunity to drive the RA108 for the first time. During the three-day session, the duo covered 198 laps and they are expected to discuss their first impressions of the teams 2008 challenger during Tuesdays event.
Although its debut run in Spain has removed a great deal of the mystery surrounding the new car, there is still significant buzz concerning its 2008 livery. In testing the car ran in interim white colours, but following last years innovative environmentally-themed design, a great deal is expected of its race replacement.
Following Tuesday's launch, the team will return to Spain to test at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya from February 1.