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Formula 1 News - February, 2008
Honda 'happy' despite slow pre-season

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Feb.22 (GMM) Honda figures on Thursday presented an upbeat mood about the 2008 season, despite lagging the field with its new car in winter testing.

The Japanese manufacturer finished 2007 an abysmal eighth in the constructors' standings, scoring just 6 points for the entire season with the earth-liveried RA107 single seater.

Honda did not attend this week's Barcelona test, but Jenson Button's best time at the wheel of his new mount, the RA108, was over three seconds off the pace at Jerez late last week, and only fractionally quicker than the RA107 in the hands of Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson.

"I must say I'm happy with the way things are going," Briton Button, who is 28, told a news conference in Tokyo.

"We're making improvements at every test in many, many areas. And for me, I'm happy also because the car is very driveable.

"It's a car we can really build on," he added.

The mood at Honda has also been buoyed by the arrival recently of new team boss Ross Brawn, who had very little to do with the specification of the current RA108.

"I think the performance is okay," Brawn said in Japan. "It is nothing special at the moment, but there is quite a lot of potential for the season."

Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello is also happier with the RA108, after failing to score a single point in 2007 for the first time in his long formula one career.

"I'm happy that we improved the braking problems that we had last year, and we are still lacking a bit of performance overall," he said.

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