British GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

B.A.R HONDA'S JENSON BUTTON QUALIFIES THIRD FOR HOME RACE Honda-powered Button and Sato to start British GP third and eighth Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button did a superb job at Silverstone today to qualify his B.A.R Honda 006 in third...

B.A.R HONDA'S JENSON BUTTON QUALIFIES THIRD FOR HOME RACE
Honda-powered Button and Sato to start British GP third and eighth

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button did a superb job at Silverstone today to qualify his B.A.R Honda 006 in third position to start his home race from the second row. Japanese team-mate Takuma Sato qualified eighth on the grid and will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from row four.

Dark clouds threatened rain at Silverstone as the drivers prepared for pre-qualifying, which made for an intriguing session dominated by strategic running in an attempt to secure a slot in the dry for the second session. Button, who did not opt to manipulate his lap time, set a blistering lap and finished P1, meaning he was the last man on track for final qualifying.

The rain stayed away for the entire final qualifying session and the Honda-powered British driver was again on fine form in front of his home crowd. Button was on course for pole position at the halfway point of his flying lap but ultimately qualified P3, clocking a 1m18.580s, and will line up on the second row alongside Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.

Having slowed deliberately in sector three to finish 13th in pre-qualifying this afternoon, B.A.R Honda's Sato was the eighth driver out on track for qualifying proper, 15 minutes into the session. The Japanese star put in a neat and tidy lap, setting a 1m19.688s to qualify P8 on the fourth row.

Button has been on the pace all day, finishing both morning practice sessions second fastest behind Raikkonen. Sato, who battled with understeer this morning, finished eighth fastest in the first session and had limited track time during the second session due to damaging the floor of his car when he rode aggressively over a kerb.

Minardi's Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni and Renault's Fernando Alonso all changed their engines this morning so will move back 10 places on the grid. Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella will start from the back of the grid as he failed to record a qualifying time. Toyota's Olivier Panis, who qualified 12th, was later penalised for blocking Sauber's Felipe Massa on his flying lap, so will start last.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from pole position alongside Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari). The pair will be followed by B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher while Jarno Trulli (Renault) and McLaren's David Coulthard and will line up behind them on row three. Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato will start the race from seventh and eighth position respectively.

Jenson Button Position: 3rd

"It's good to qualify third for our home race. Obviously we would have liked to have been on pole here but third is a good position to start the race from. As is often the case, it's difficult to know what strategies everyone else is running, so I'm quite pleased to be where we are. The car has been handling much better than yesterday. We're not 100% happy with it after all the positive testing we have done here, but I think strategy-wise we're in good shape for the race. Today has been a tough one to call weather-wise and I think it will be the case again tomorrow. My target now is a podium and playing my part in a solid team result in front of our home crowd."

Takuma Sato Position: 8th

"I feel that we have a good strategy for tomorrow so I'm reasonably happy with my lap time. Everybody was gambling with the weather in pre-qualifying and we were hoping that it would pay off in the final run. Silverstone is a circuit where I have many memories from my Junior Formula days, so I would really like to have a strong race tomorrow. However, the changeable weather will make for an interesting race and of course we hope that we can make the best of our strategy in front of the team's home crowd."

Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"It was an interesting day, clearly all the teams had slightly different ideas about what was going to happen with the weather. I think we should go well tomorrow - we certainly want to put on a good show at one of our home GPs."

-honda-

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