2006 Honda RA106
The Honda Racing F1 Team unveiled its challenger for
the 2006 Formula One season in Spain this morning with the new driver
line-up of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. This marked an
important milestone for Honda as it is the first Formula One car
launched by a Honda works team since 1968.
As an indication of Honda's commitment to the new
challenge and the strength of its manufacturing operation, the team
delivered not one, but two identical RA106 race cars to the launch to
enable Rubens and Jenson to start testing at exactly the same time.
The new cars and their RA806E engines are the product of a single,
unified team which combines the resources of the Honda Racing F1 Team
Operations Centre in Brackley, England, Honda Racing Development's
engine base in Bracknell, England, and Honda R&D in Tochigi, Japan.
2006 Honda RA106
The RA106 sported its new base canvas of Honda Racing
White, a color which has been synonymous with the Honda motorsport
identity since the company's F1 debut in 1964. The rest of the livery
has the more familiar feel of the Lucky Strike brand, which remains as
title sponsor for the 2006 season.
Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer
"Our target in 2006 is to challenge for race wins and we will do our
utmost to achieve that objective."
"During 2005 we put in place some important building blocks that will
help us meet our targets in 2006 and beyond. We secured two of the
best racing drivers in the world, we proved our ability to develop a
car through the season, resulting in points for Jenson in each of the
last ten races, and we gained a better understanding of the strengths
of the 2004 car and the issues with our 2005 race car. Lastly, and
most importantly, we have "works" team status with access to the
technical resources of Honda R&D. I'm particularly proud that we have
been able to deliver a new car each for Jenson and Rubens today which
demonstrates the depth of our manufacturing ability and skill and
determination of our people. With our new wind tunnel also coming
on-stream later this year, we are ready to step up to the challenge."
President of Honda Racing Development and Management Board Member of
the Honda Racing F1 Team
"The 2006 F1 season means a great deal to all of us at Honda as it
marks the beginning of a new adventure and confirms an even greater
commitment to F1. The launch today of the first F1 chassis since 1968
to carry the Honda name is a particularly significant moment.
"It is up to all the engineers involved in the program, at the F1
Operations Centre in Brackley, HRD in Bracknell and Honda R&D in Japan
to rise to the challenge of F1 and show the world what Honda can do as
a fully integrated force. The development of a new challenging spirit
and a desire to work together to challenge for wins is at the core of
Honda's philosophy. Honda has always exposed its engineers to the
highest competition in racing as it uniquely prepares them for the
challenges that lie ahead. We are all excited about the season to come
and up for the fight!"
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director
"The new RA106 is the product of four years of steady evolution.
During this time, the team has developed a high level of technical
capability which now sees it designing, manufacturing and operating at
the highest level on the grid. The emphasis now is on integration and
combining our design concepts and expertise to achieve a car capable
of challenging for race wins.
"One of our key areas of focus has been aerodynamics, the design
considerations for which were two-fold - the aero problem that we
faced in 2005 and achieving a significant improvement in aerodynamic
efficiency to meet the requirements of the new, smaller V8 engine and
its implications on chassis design. We are pleased with the progress
we have made in the wind tunnel over the winter and our data shows
that we have made a good step forward. Mechanically, in keeping with
the evolutionary theme we have refined our various concepts including
our third generation carbon composite gearbox.
"Honda has produced a new engine to meet the challenge of Formula
One's switch from V10 to V8 power. The new RA806E is the result of a
very intensive year's work with many concepts designed and tested
since the prototype first ran in May 2005. Since the latest
specification started running in November 2005, the team has been
encouraged by its reliability and performance."
Car No. 11, Rubens Barrichello
"This is a very exciting day for me as it's my first launch with a new
team for six years! Honda has a fantastic heritage in motorsport and
it's great to be a part of that now. I can't wait to drive the new car
and the discussions I've had with our technical team indicate that we
have good reason to be excited about the season ahead. I'm sure that
will be confirmed when I test the car for the first time today."
Car No. 12, Jenson Button
"I'm incredibly proud and excited to be part of the Honda Racing F1
Team and 2006 is going to be a very important year for all of us.
We've achieved a lot in winter testing with our Concept car and I have
seen first hand the huge effort in Brackley and Tochigi over the past
few months. I'm confident that all the determination will be rewarded
this year and I've done my part by working even harder on my fitness
to ensure that I'm in the best possible shape for the season ahead. I
can't wait for the first race in Bahrain."
Third Driver, Anthony Davidson
"I'm really looking forward to playing my part in what I'm sure will
be a successful year for the team. It's going to be great to be
running again on Fridays at Grands Prix and I know this will really
help our development throughout the year."