B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after posting the 4th-fastest time in this afternoon's qualifying session. After a second day of positive free practice running, in which the...
B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after posting the 4th-fastest time in this afternoon's qualifying session.
After a second day of positive free practice running, in which the team demonstrated improved pace with the 5th and 3rd fastest times of the two morning sessions, Jenson put in a solid lap which, though compromised by oversteer and gusty wind, was good enough to split the two McLarens.
Takuma Sato on the other hand had a less positive day, which was frustrating after such a promising start to his weekend yesterday. He suffered mechanical problems in both sessions which meant that he had very little running time and was unable to work on new tyre runs in preparation for qualifying.
Since Takuma was already penalised by a 10-place grid penalty from Spa and was qualifying early in the session, the team decided to change the engine in Takuma's B*A*R Honda 007 ahead of the qualifying session and he will now start the race from the back of the grid.
"I'm pleased with our fourth position today, although we expected a little bit more to be honest. In low-speed corners the car was working well but we had a bit of oversteer in the high-speed corners which meant that I had to get off the throttle in turn 11, the quick left-hander, which made me lose a bit of time."
"I was two tenths down on Montoya but the wind was so gusty and I could see that I was losing tenth after tenth as I came down the straight. The second row of the grid isn't a bad place to be given our strategy so we'll wait and see what happens tomorrow. I'm optimistic that we can get a good result from here."
"Another difficult day for me. We were hoping to carry the momentum from yesterday over into today's free practice but we had problems in both sessions which meant that I had very little running. As a result, I didn't get the opportunity to put in a new tyre run, which is a big shame because I don't know how the car behaves on new tyres."
"For qualifying we decided to complete only an installation lap so that we can maximise the opportunities for the race tomorrow. Obviously I had to start from the back of the grid anyway, so we approached our strategy with that in mind. I am confident that we have a strong package and, as always, I will be fighting hard for a good result."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"We are happy that Jenson will start from the second row, even though this wasn't the smoothest qualifying session for our team. Taku's qualifying and race strategy was, in many ways, determined by his penalty from Spa, however the problems he had during the morning sessions curtailed his race preparation running. Nevertheless, we are hopeful of a good result from him since we have a good indication from the little running he completed."
"Jenson had a very good morning session and the car seemed much improved from yesterday. His last session gave us hope that perhaps a front row grid slot was achievable but unfortunately we ended up with a little too much oversteer in his car. However, we are very much looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"Jenson had a strong lap and will start tomorrow's race from a good grid position. I hope he can translate that into a good result. We changed Takuma's engine before qualifying and he now has the Suzuka specification one race early. He didn't attack qualifying because of his race strategy, and although he will start from the back of the grid, I hope that will help him to make good progress through the field."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Lap time: 1:12.696
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-05
Position: classified 19th
Lap time: No tim