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Honda targeting points at every race 29 Jan 2008

The new Honda RA108 Honda RA108 Media Launch, Honda Racing F1 Factory, Brackley, England, 29 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Honda RA108 Media Launch, Honda Racing F1 Factory, Brackley, England, 29 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton The new Honda RA108 Honda RA108 Media Launch, Honda Racing F1 Factory, Brackley, England, 29 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton (L to R): Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda, Alex Wurz (AUT) Honda and Jenson Button (GBR) Honda. Honda RA108 Media Launch, Honda Racing F1 Factory, Brackley, England, 29 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton The new Honda RA108 Honda RA108 Media Launch, Honda Racing F1 Factory, Brackley, England, 29 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Honda officially unveiled their 2008 car in its race livery at the team’s UK base on Tuesday. Following its shakedown test at Valencia last week in the hands of race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, it fell to test driver Alex Wurz to take the wraps of the RA108.

After their disappointing 2007 season, Honda are hoping that a complete re-evaluation of their design process will mean the RA108 can once again make the Japanese team a regular points contender.

“This time last year saw the beginning of a downward curve for us and there is a determined sense that this year we are back on track,” said CEO Nick Fry. “We have done everything possible to honestly address the issues, which we have to view as valuable experiences which have helped to put us in better shape for this year and for the years ahead."

The RA108 is the product of a strengthened Honda engineering team, combining the depth of experience of the existing resource with new and wide-ranging expertise in key areas under the leadership of new team principal Ross Brawn.

"The RA108 car is a wholly different concept to its predecessors, in terms of its aerodynamic layout and mechanical structure,” explained Brawn. “The design philosophy has been developed to allow greater scope for aerodynamic packaging and exploitation, particularly to facilitate the introduction of performance upgrades through the season.

"The focus has been on attaining a high level of aerodynamic efficiency with stability and this is reflected in the way that the chassis has been revised to interact with the different aerodynamic features and the suspension. This approach should allow more potential for further developments to take place, the first of which will be for Melbourne when we will introduce a substantially revised aerodynamic package compared with the car we have launched today.

"Our target for 2008 is to get back to the position occupied during the second half of the 2006 season when Honda fought for points at every race. Only then will we have a stable base from which to target more ambitious results.”

The unveiling of the RA108’s race livery also heralded the introduction of the team's ‘earthdreams’ programme - an evolution of the award-winning ‘myearthdream’ concept launched in 2007 - which is committed to providing support and investment for good causes. According to Honda, the new livery moves the focus from raising environmental awareness to action, the team and their partners having already committed US$1.2 million to the initiative.