BUTTON AND SATO QUALIFY FIFTH AND SIXTH IN BRAZIL Honda-powered duo to start season finale from row three In the final qualifying session of 2004, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato qualified their B.A.R Honda 006s in...
BUTTON AND SATO QUALIFY FIFTH AND SIXTH IN BRAZIL
Honda-powered duo to start season finale from row three
In the final qualifying session of 2004, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato qualified their B.A.R Honda 006s in P5 and P6 at Interlagos this afternoon. The pair will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix from the third row.
The running time was decreased to just over half an hour in the first morning session due to a stray dog on track. Despite the lack of early morning on-track action, the Honda-powered duo enjoyed a positive two sessions, Button and Sato setting the first and second fastest times in session one and finishing fifth and eighth in the second timed practice session.
Having finished 11th in this afternoon's first qualifying session, Button took to the track 10th in the running order for final qualifying. Despite a small mistake in sector two, the British driver took provisional pole with a time of 1m11.092s. Button finally qualified fifth on the grid after all the runs were completed.
Sato clocked the sixth fastest time in pre-qualifying this afternoon, so was the 15th man on track for qualifying proper. The Japanese star put in a neat and tidy lap, his time of 1m11.120s - just three hundredths of a second off team-mate Button - qualified him sixth on the grid. Sato will line up alongside Button tomorrow to start the final race of 2004 from row three.
Conditions remained warm and sunny at Interlagos despite the forecast rain for today and for tomorrow's race (track 41, air 28 degrees) as Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello thrilled his home crowd by taking pole position for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams), Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Sauber's Felipe Massa will line up second, third and fourth, followed by B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato.
Ralf Schumacher (Williams) and brother Michael qualified seventh and eighth, but the Ferrari driver will be moved back 10 places on the grid due to an engine change following a heavy crash at the end of the second session this morning, which means Renault's Fernando Alonso will start from P8.
Jenson Button Position: 5th
"Considering the lap, P5 isn't too bad, as I expected to be further back than that. In the final session I made a mistake in the second sector though when I got a bit of oversteer through turn five, which cost me quite a bit of time. Nevertheless, I think we can expect a strong race tomorrow and we'll all be doing our best to end the season on a high note and secure that all-important championship position we've worked so hard for this season."
Takuma Sato Position: 6th
"The car was a bit twitchy into turns one and two and I was losing grip. I possibly needed a harder out lap to achieve the right temperature for the grip required at the start of the lap, but the rest of the run was quite strong so I am reasonably happy. Sixth place isn't the best result but here we have good overtaking opportunities and I hope our strategy is strong. It will be a tough race but I am very much looking forward to it."
Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
"Both drivers have done a good job to qualify near the front which will allow us to fight for another podium finish. As it is the last race of the season we want to have a strong race to maintain our momentum into the off season."