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Barrichello and Button praise improving Honda 15 Feb 2008

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108 Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 13 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA108 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 03 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton

With less than a month to go before the 2008 season gets underway in Australia, Honda’s Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button are cautiously optimistic that the RA108 is finally showing signs of improvement, after wrapping up a productive test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez on Thursday.

Barrichello covered more than 150 laps over two days of running on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although he failed to make it into the top ten on the timesheets on either day, he was pleased with progress, convinced the team have gone some way to solving the grip and pace issues that blighted early test sessions with the car.

“We made some good steps with the driveability this week which have given me more confidence getting on the power,” the Brazilian said. “The car balance has improved with progress on the ride and suspension, and I'm feeling comfortable in the car and happier with my driving position.”

Button, meanwhile, tested on Wednesday and Thursday, covering over 200 laps as he ran through aero evaluations and a race simulation. Despite finishing over three seconds down on fastest man Heikki Kovalainen in the McLaren on Thursday, the British driver was also satisfied as he left Jerez.

“We have made good progress this week in understanding the car, addressing the issues that we experienced at the last test and getting the car balanced for long runs,” added Button. “There is a great deal of work to do over the two remaining tests before we head to Melbourne, but I am now happier in the car and have more confidence to push it to the limit.”

The team will be back in action at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya later this month.