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Thursday, August 2, 2007

With just three race wins to their credit, Honda doesn't exactly have a glittering Formula 1 history... However, they are clearly not new to Formula 1, having initially made their debut in 1963.

In the early days, they surprised everyone by deciding to construct their own engine and chassis. But this decision proved good when they showed early success in the mid-1960s. Thereafter, however, the going got tough and Honda had little or no success for a while forcing them to quit F1.

As the company grew, so did their interest in F1 and in 1983, they returned to Formula 1 as an engine supplier. Although they did not have a team, their involvement as engine manufacturer saw them win six constructors' titles and five drivers' championships. Once again, though, at the end of 1992, they quit the sport. They were involved in F1 from 1993 to 1999 mainly through their associates Mugen Motorsports as engine suppliers to Ligier, Prost and Jordan. But in 2000, they entered the Formula 1 circuit again and this time, as partners with BAR.

By 2005, they had bought out the majority stake in BAR and were the sole owners of the team. After restrictions on tobacco advertising in Formula 1, British-American Tobacco, the original title sponsors have withdrawn support and since 2006, the team has raced under the name of Honda Racing F1 Team.

In 2006, the V8 Honda engine was touted as the most powerful on the grid, but after a pole position in Australia - they could not keep up with the expectations. Reliability and pit-stop issues were the main reasons! Rubens Barrichello, after a long stint at Ferrari, was still getting used to the new car and its behaviour while Jenson Button was generally off the boil in the initial part of the season. But the win at Hungary proved to be just the shot in the arm they needed as their performances peaked.

Button finished 2006 in 6th place with 56 points while Barrichello finished 7th with 30 points. Honda finished 4th in the Constructors' race and 2007 certainly promises to be a good year for the Japanese Manufacturer.

Team Boss: Nick Fry

Races: 63

Race Wins: 3

Constructor's Championships: 0

Engine: Honda V8 RA807E

Chassis: RA107 - Honda

Suspension: Showa

Brakes: Alcon Carbon

Tyres: Bridgestone

Transmission: 7-speed unit + reverse

Engine power:
Over 18,500 rpm
GearBox: 7-speed Honda, sequential, semi-automatic, hydraulic activation
Weight: 605 kgs (including driver, camera and ballast)
Dimensions: 4675mm x 1800mm x 950 mm
Valves: 4 valves per cylinder; pneumatic valve system
Total displacement: 2.4 litres

Team Personnel:
Team manager:

Chief engineer:
Drivers: Rubens Barrichello (Brazil), Jenson Button (Great Britain)
Test driver: Christian Klien, James Rossiter

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