Honda and its partner teams, BAR and Jordan, arrive at the A1-Ring in Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix determined to put the disappointment of Spain behind them. The Japanese engine manufacturer is yet to score this year and BAR's Jacques Villeneuve was their only finisher in Barcelona in seventh place.
Nevertheless Honda reported a small improvement was made on their engine for the Spanish round and all four drivers used the new evolution V10 for qualifying and the race. And although it was not yet running to its full pre-season potential the drivers recognised that progress is being made.
This latest improvement was the result of continuing development at Honda's Research & Development Centre in Tochigi, near Tokyo, in Japan. For the Austrian race they will be focussing on reliability and fuel economy, as well as outright power.
"The A1-Ring can be described as a 'power circuit' in terms of engine performance as over 60 per cent of the lap distance is covered at full throttle," said Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Racing Development's race and test team manager in a press release.
"It is a relatively high-speed circuit and demanding on an engine in terms of reliability, although power isn't the only issue we need to focus on and we will also be concentrating on fuel economy to make the most of our pit-stop strategies."
Honda scored points at the A1-Ring last year thanks to Olivier Panis's fifth place for BAR. The Japanese company has taken victory just once in Austria when Nigel Mansell won for Williams back in 1987.