BAR Honda aimed to rattle the top three F1 teams with its 2004 contender - the BAR Honda 06 launched at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, Spain. The success of the 2003 car was the result of a dramatic improvement in engineering standards, which enabled the team to move up from eighth to fifth place in the Championship, marking them out as the season's most improved team. A significant evolution of the 05, the BAR Honda 06 is a further step forward in design and build quality and the product of a more challenging and innovative approach.
The chassis is stiffer and has a lower centre of gravity. It also features a smaller fuel capacity to reflect the revised qualifying rules and raised pit lane speeds. The biggest single development is the new gearbox. It features a full carbon-composite maincase, together with narrow, lightweight gear ratios which afford a very substantial weight reduction at the rear of the car. There are further weight-saving features throughout, with greater use of MMC (metal matrix composite), innovative upright design, simplified internal suspension components, and a refined and better integrated hydraulics system.
The engine and chassis allow a slightly shorter wheelbase, and the aerodynamic package has been optimised. BAR has used the results of track testing last year to identify a new strategy for aerodynamic development, and the new car has been developed in the wind tunnel using these new techniques. Although the change of aerodynamic regulations has slowed down the pace of improvement, the new car shows clear performance advantages in the tunnel over its predecessor.
For 2004, BAR has also forged a new partnership with French tyre supplier Michelin. The team has conducted an extensive programme of tyre development during winter testing in readiness for their debut season together, using nearly 1,000 tyres during 10,000 kilometres of testing.
Although BAR's pre season pace was right up there with the top teams, the team's race pace was still a surprise for most. Together with Renault, BAR was the team that challenged Ferrari and Michael Schumacher in the first rounds, filling the void left by the disapoint McLaren and Williams teams. After six races BAR's lead driver Jenson Button was 'best of the rest in championship', in third place behind Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher.
Company press release, last updated before 12 / 01 / 2004
Even before the season began, i had the feeling that this BAR 006 will be very stuong.(Maybe thr fact that i like the number 006 very much. lol) Now the season has gone underway, witb three top three finishes out of four races, and a pole position. is clear the the car is FAST and importantly RELIABLE. I don't think it is the case where is the driver that pushes to such result, rather it was the result form the hard working team BAR. Thr car looks geart form all angles, Honda does produce an outstanding engine for 006 (which it wasn't the case in last few years). For me there are only two other cars that might be better or equial to 006, The F2004 and the R24. Ferrari is no dout the best F1 car maker so far, the car only weakless seems to be it tyres. However bridgestone does seems to manage to produce better tyres then last year, is year they r invisable. Renault R24 geatest is it beautifully engineered backgound. the balance of the car could be be best form the rest. Back to BAR 006, I hope that this car will win some races in time to come this year.