Bahrain GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

HONDA-POWERED DUO DOMINATE THIRD ROW Sato and Button to start fifth and sixth in Bahrain Grand Prix Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button put in a strong performance in today's qualifying session, placing their B*A*R Hondas in...

HONDA-POWERED DUO DOMINATE THIRD ROW
Sato and Button to start fifth and sixth in Bahrain Grand Prix

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button put in a strong performance in today's qualifying session, placing their B*A*R Hondas in fifth and sixth position to start tomorrow's inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix from the third row.

The weather remained hot and sunny at the Sakhir circuit (air 31, track 49 degrees) as the winner of the 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix, Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, kicked off pre-qualifying. B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button was out third in the running order on a relatively dusty track and recorded the eighth fastest time of 1m31.131s, suffering from low grip. Team-mate Takuma Sato was the 15th driver to set his timed lap, recording the ninth fastest time of 1m31.135s, just four thousandths of a second off Button's time.

As a result of their pre-qualifying times, Takuma and Jenson took to the track 12th and 13th respectively in the second part of qualifying, which is when it really counts. Takuma drove a very good lap, particularly through sector two, clocking a time of 1m30.827s, placing him fifth on the grid on the third row at the end of the session. Jenson was on track immediately after his team-mate, and also put in a strong performance, setting a time of 1m30.856s to qualify in sixth place. The Briton will line up alongside his team-mate on the grid tomorrow.

Michael Schumacher's time of 1m30.139s secured pole position for the Italian for tomorrow's maiden Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello and the Williams pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher qualified second, third and fourth while B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button will line up in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Another good day for us in Bahrain. Both our drivers did well today and we're looking strong for the race tomorrow. Another podium is definitely achievable and at the very least we are looking to finish both cars in the points."

Takuma Sato Position: 5th

"It was a good lap considering that I had some oversteer, so I'm quite pleased. It has been a very productive weekend so far and I'm happy that we haven't had any problems so far. I have been able to get lots of laps in and this really helped with my qualifying result, so this just shows what is possible with the right preparation. I'm really looking forward to the race."

Jenson Button Position: 6th

"I'm lost as to why my qualifying lap was so slow because we could and should have been quicker based on this morning's running. So I'm actually quite disappointed. The car has been great all weekend and we've been looking so strong, but this afternoon the car felt very different from this morning. Some of that will be down to changing track conditions and loss of grip, but we'll have to look at the information and see what went wrong. There's still some work to do if we are to achieve our full potential here tomorrow."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams