FISICHELLA TO START FROM SEVENTH ROW Fisichella and Villeneuve qualify 14th and 15th for Brazilian Grand Prix Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) and Jacques Villeneuve (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) qualified in 14th and 15th positions ...
FISICHELLA TO START FROM SEVENTH ROW Fisichella and Villeneuve qualify 14th and 15th for Brazilian Grand Prix
Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) and Jacques Villeneuve (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) qualified in 14th and 15th positions respectively for the start of the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix, the leading Honda-powered drivers and cars on tomorrow's grid. Olivier Panis qualified his B.A.R Honda in 17th position while Jordan Honda's Takuma Sato qualified 19th.
The Honda-powered drivers had a trouble-free qualifying session but struggled to post competitive times in the extreme heat at Interlagos (32 degrees). Jordan Honda's Fisichella improved on his first timed lap by four tenths of a second, setting his quickest time of the day, a 1m14.748s, on his third outing. B.A.R Honda's Villeneuve and Panis also set their fastest times of the day during their third outing, Villeneuve improving his initial time by three tenths and Panis by just over half a second.
All three drivers failed to improve their grid positions on their final set of three laps. Jordan Honda's Sato ran wide on his first timed lap so stayed out for a second flying lap and set what was to become his final qualifying time. The Japanese driver improved his time slightly on his second outing but this time was disallowed by the stewards due to Sato having exited the pit lane under a red light in yesterday's Free Practice.
As Interlagos basked in glorious sunshine and the track temperature rose to 46 degrees, Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya won an intense battle for pole position with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and team-mate Ralf Schumacher. David Coulthard (McLaren) will start from fourth spot tomorrow alongside team-mate Kimi Raikkonen with the Renault of Jarno Trulli completing the top six positions.
Shuhei Nakamoto Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development
"It was a very close qualifying session and all four Honda-powered drivers performed well under pressure. We got the most out of the package in that we didn't have any problems, however it clearly isn't good enough. The forecast high temperatures for tomorrow's race will be really tough on the drivers and the engines, and our immediate challenge is to ensure all four engines make it to the finish."
Giancarlo Fisichella Position: 14th
"Yesterday I thought we could squeeze into the top 10, but with temperatures and track conditions today it wasn't possible, which is obviously very disappointing. I believe we got the maximum out of the car but it is clear that our package just was not competitive enough today."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 15th
"Generally the car felt better all weekend and things looked a little more promising in practice, but as qualifying showed us, that is as quick as it will go. Position-wise it's very close but as far as our time is concerned, we couldn't get anything more from the car. We haven't had any mechanical problems so far and we're usually better off in the race, so there's only one strategy for tomorrow - to attack as much as we can and hope for some opportunities during the race."
Olivier Panis Position: 17th
"I have mixed feelings about today, some negative and some positive. On the negative side, I have to say we were slow and we were missing the power we needed for this kind of circuit, which has three straights, one of them very long and steep. I struggled since this morning to find a better set-up and I think that today Jacques and I extracted all we could from the car. On the positive side, we have had no recurrence of the mechanical problems we had in the previous race and I would like to thank the team for their efforts in resolving the reliability issues. We will have to work very hard this afternoon in order to prepare for the race, so we can make the most of any opportunities that may arise."
Takuma Sato Position: 19th
"Qualifying was always going to be difficult for me because due to the penalty imposed on me, I had one less chance to make a good lap time. We struggled with the balance and hot track temperatures, which did not work well for us. I was hoping to go quicker in the last outing but in the last corner I had a big moment and also got caught up in traffic. We hope that we can run a reliable race to the finish tomorrow."