Belgian GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda experienced a disappointing qualifying in difficult conditions at Spa Francorchamps today in a session which shook up the grid and set the scene for a thrilling comeback for the Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow. Jenson Button...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda experienced a disappointing qualifying in difficult conditions at Spa Francorchamps today in a session which shook up the grid and set the scene for a thrilling comeback for the Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow. Jenson Button and Takuma Sato qualified 12th and 15th respectively after constant rain throughout the morning created perilous track conditions for the crucial qualifying session.

The notoriously fickle Spa weather scuppered the day's preparation as rain stopped play for all but 15 minutes of this morning's free practice sessions. Pre-qualifying and qualifying saw a gradual improvement as the track dried along the racing line and the teams were faced with a choice between sticking with a wet set-up to maximise qualifying position or working towards the dry race forecast for tomorrow.

Jenson Button:

"It's disappointing to be 12th on the grid as it has been a very long time since we have had a poor qualifying session. We made the wrong tyre choice due to the standing water that was on the track and this cost us in our performance today. However, the car is strong and we are confident for the race, so with the mixed grid I think we can all look forward to an interesting Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow."

Takuma Sato:

"I'm disappointed with today's result. The rain stopped during the session and the lap and because we had extreme wet tyres on, they overheated quite quickly due to the conditions, so I had very poor grip by the end of the lap. The grid is quite mixed-up for the race tomorrow. We have good straight-line speed, so we have an opportunity to achieve a solid two-car points finish, continue to challenge Renault and maintain our third position in the Championship."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"As anticipated, the fickle Ardennes weather has created an interesting qualifying session. Both our drivers were on the track at a time when it was a fine line between the choice of wet or extreme wet tyres and, unfortunately, the safe choice did not pay off on this occasion. Nevertheless, assuming the prediction of a dry race tomorrow proves correct, we should be capable of a strong performance and another solid points finish for both cars."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Despite the morning sessions being limited to just 15 minutes of wet running, we were able to get good laps on both cars and were confident with our car performance going into qualifying. However, the conditions in the afternoon were more variable and the window when Takuma and Jenson ran was too dry for the extreme wet tyres we chose to run. With slightly different timing we might have chosen the wet tyres instead but the advantage fell to the following runners. Despite our poor grid positions, we are confident that we have a good set-up for tomorrow's race."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"That was clearly not a good session for us but we have been fast up to this point so I am confident we can do a good job tomorrow."

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Position: 12th
Lap time: 2:00.237

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-06
Position: 15th
Lap time: 2:01.813

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto