Honda seeking performance upturn
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, July 7th 2006, 09:22 GMT|
Honda Racing boss Nick Fry believes that his team can now put their recent troubles behind them and set sights on an upturn in performance on the track.
Fry believes that the emotional turmoil caused by recent staffing reshuffles has now settled and that with new aerodynamic parts showing some promise at Jerez in Spain this week the team should start showing improvements.
But he has drawn short of confidently saying that the worst is behind the team after a difficult middle part of the season.
"To say the worst is behind us, would be tempting fate," he told autosport.com. "I make no predictions about that.
"With the plans that are in place we should be on improving trends now, but you don't know what the competition are doing and there are a million and one things that can go wrong.
"We will just keep beavering away at this, and do the best we can. That is all you can ask of people. We will push like crazy."
Honda tried out new parts during this week's Jerez test that are likely to be introduced for the French Grand Prix, as part of an aggressive development programme to try and close the gap on the cars ahead.
"We have got a huge job at Jerez this week and improvements for Magny-Cours all planned," he said. "And there is more for Hockenheim and more for Istanbul. That is all underway and will be delivered.
"We are still in fourth place in the championship, we nibbled away a few points at McLaren (in Indianapolis), and our aim now is really to consolidate our fourth place and see if we can catch up with third place. We will be trying to do that until the last race."
Fry believes that the promising form shown by his team at last weekend's United States Grand Prix, where some predicted Jenson Button could have challenged for a podium judging by the amount of fuel he had on board, was evidence that the team have put the troubles of Geoff Willis' departure behind them.
"When you have changes in the way we work it is always going to be disruptive and I was proud of the way that people just got on with it," he said.
"I think in Indianapolis two things helped. Firstly, time heals a little bit and people have just got on with their job, and secondly pretty much from the first lap on Friday we realised that the car's performance was reasonable.
"That always helps - everyone is happy when the cars go well."