Formula One: Honda Presents the RA108

Francois GendronSenior Writer IJanuary 29, 2008

Today at the Brackley factory, United Kingdom, Honda presented the RA108, the 2008 version of their Formula One race car.

After a catastrophic 2007 season, the Honda Formula One team is looking to rebound from the bottom of the standings. The team cannot do worse, in all honesty. A marginal team like Toro Rosso finished in front of Honda in the standings last season. A catastrophic result for such a known brand.

Both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will be back with the team for 2008 and are established pilots within the team and on the Formula One circuit itself. If the 2008 version of the car really has something to give, the drivers should be able to score points on a regular basis. As for Jenson Button, he is somewhat confident for himself, as he predicts a serious run at the 2009 title.

As for the car’s general look, a brand new color design was presented. From the plain solid green and blue colors of last season, this year the car has a white base with lighter green and blue colors.

I also note the sharp angles on the back of the front wing. Two other angled pieces are found behind the front wheels of the car. Those shaped parts are the result of the work done in Honda’s wind tunnels. As for their efficiency, we will be able to judge by ourselves after a few races.

The hiring of Ross Brawn, who worked many seasons with Ferrari, was a necessity for Honda. With the car losing ground versus all the elite teams, a serious change of philosophy was required. The RA108 will carry Brawn’s contributions to the Honda racing team.

What can we expect from Honda’s race cars in 2008? We should see an improvement, that is not very difficult in fact. But one or two podium finishes during the season would be a proof of real improvement. In the past years, the Honda engine was ordinary. Nothing really exciting about it was ever mentioned, so do not expect a major improvement from the Honda engine itself. The aerodynamics and the car’s balance are more important issues for the team in 2008.

(Pictures: The Honda RA108, Honda F1.)