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Honda's 2004 F1 Challenge
 Date: March 02, 2004 13:37
 Submitted by:  danielgr
 Source: Honda Press Release
 Credibility Rating: N/A


The eagerly-anticipated 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship presents an exciting new technical challenge for Honda. With new regulations now requiring drivers to use the same engine for an entire Grand Prix weekend - including all free practice on Friday and Saturday, both qualifying sessions plus the race itself - in 2004 engines must be capable of not only lasting for 750 to 800km but also maintaining their high levels of performance throughout their extended lifespan.

Determined to build on the progress seen in 2003 when Lucky Strike BAR Honda rose to fifth place in the FIA Constructors' Championship, Honda's engineers have created an all-new RA004E engine. Underlining Honda's constantly challenging approach to engine development, the RA004E is designed to be lighter, smaller, more powerful and to have a lower centre of gravity than its predecessor, while still meeting the additional technical demands of an approximately doubled engine life.

Work on the concept of this new more compact V10 began as early as December 2002. The new unit was tested on the dynamometer in August 2003 and first ran in BAR Honda's interim 'Concept Car' chassis in November. This has enabled Honda's technicians to test the RA004E much earlier than would have been possible had the team waited for the launch of the 2004 chassis. The RA004E successfully completed a full race weekend distance within days of its introduction, and its early release is designed to bear dividends during the 2004 campaign.

Honda's involvement with the chassis is a pillar of Honda's third generation of Formula One activity. Twenty-five Honda engineers have been stationed at the BAR factory to work on the development of the BAR Honda 006. Under Geoffrey Willis' management, the engineers have been fully integrated into the BAR team, working on areas including gearbox internals, hydraulics, suspension, aerodynamics and control software. The full integration of the Honda engineers into the BAR organisation, in combination with over 50 further engineers based at Tochigi's R&D centre, is expected to lead to an increased rate of development throughout the year.


Takeo Kiuchi, Head of Worldwide Automobile Racing and F1 Project Leader, Honda R&D


"We designed the new engine with 3 objectives: less weight, more performance and longer life. Our new engine is much lighter and I am confident we will exceed last year's Suzuka horsepower by Australia. We have achieved the required life for the weekend, and are now extending it even further for greater flexibility."


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