Austrian GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve will start tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix from the 4th and 6th rows of the grid after qualifying 7th and 12th respectively. Weather conditions remained warm and sunny as...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve will start tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix from the 4th and 6th rows of the grid after qualifying 7th and 12th respectively.

Weather conditions remained warm and sunny as Jenson and Jacques left the pit lane 16th and 17th in line for their single-lap runs. Jenson was particularly pleased with his lap having endured a problematic morning of free practice. A hydraulic leak cost him most of the first session and he spent the second playing catch-up with his set- up work.

Jenson Button:

"I'm quite satisfied with my lap because I had too much oversteer practically all the way round. It wasn't a very tidy lap because I was on the verge of being out of control. There wasn't enough grip out there but I was giving it maximum attack and pushing as hard as I could - a little bit too much in the last corner because I ran wide.

"We've been struggling to find the right balance all weekend and qualifying showed we're not quite on top of that. Having said that, we've been very competitive so far, so I'm optimistic. Seventh on the grid gives us a lot of chances, and because there have been so many surprises today, a podium is not beyond the realms of possibility. Before I make any predictions though, I'd better wait and see what happens in the race!"

Jacques Villeneuve:

"The car felt amazing on old tyres this morning but we couldn't get the best out of new tyres this afternoon. I tried to compensate but I drove too aggressively and made a big mistake in turn one, which basically cost me the lap. 12th isn't too bad because a mistake like that could have cost more. We should be OK for the race because the car is very quick in race trim."

"A lot of people were trying too hard today and I was one of them. If you do a slow out-lap to look after the tyres you can end up going too slow and you don't get enough heat in them. It's a difficult balance and the one's who got it wrong are the one's who made mistakes.

"This is a good track for overtaking and our grid position doesn't reflect our actual speed, so it should be a fun race. It's always a very interesting first lap here and the people who survive that end up having a fun race. I hope I'm one of them."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"Today's qualifying session proved just how tricky this low-grip track can be, with a surprising number of drivers making mistakes. Jenson got away with a minor error on the last corner, whilst Jacques lost most of his time on the very first corner. Nonetheless, we're feeling very positive about our potential race performance tomorrow, albeit concerned about what the weather might bring as the forecast is for rain in the morning."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Today was a rather mixed day for the team compared with Friday. In the morning we had an hydraulic leak on Jenson's car, which lost him the second half of the first session. We had an otherwise productive morning and by warm-up we felt we had a good race set-up on both cars. Qualifying was rather less satisfactory. Jenson got a quick, if rather ragged, lap but Jacques made a mistake on turn one, costing him over half a second.

"We've been competitive all weekend and we feel we have a good strategy for tomorrow's race. Given the very mixed-up nature of the grid there is a high likelihood of a first-corner incident. With one of our cars starting from the middle of the field, it will be important to stay out of trouble on the first lap."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Although we expected higher grid positions we have shown that the car has been competitive all weekend so I'm confident we can score points tomorrow."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-5
Position: 12th
Lap time: 1:10.618

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Position: 7th
Lap time: 1:09.935

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto