HONDA DRIVER TO START FROM FIFTH ROW Villeneuve and Button qualify ninth and 20th for British Grand Prix Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in ninth place for tomorrow's grid of the British Grand Prix to start the race from...
HONDA DRIVER TO START FROM FIFTH ROW
Villeneuve and Button qualify ninth and 20th for British Grand Prix
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in ninth place for tomorrow's grid of the British Grand Prix to start the race from the fifth row while team-mate Jenson Button did not record a time and will start from 20th place.
Villeneuve missed the majority of the second free practice session this morning due to an engine failure at the end of the first 45 minute session. Button was hampered by oversteer into the high speed corners, and both drivers struggled to find the right balance, battling against the cross winds through the corners, characteristic of the Silverstone track.
Following two fairly overcast and cool days at Silverstone, the weather brightened up for this afternoon's final qualifying, the air temperature stabilising at 25 degrees as the session got underway.
Villeneuve went out eighth to complete his one flying lap, almost a third of the way through the session, the track temperature registering 37 degrees. The Canadian completed a tidy lap, recording a time of 1m22.591s, finally qualifying in ninth position for tomorrow's race.
Almost half way through the session, Button took to the track, going out 12th in the running order. On his flying lap the Briton ran wide at the exit of Becketts corner, striking the curb and damaging the front suspension of his B*A*R Honda 005. Consequently, Button could not continue and did not record a time so he will start from the back of the grid. The team has until 1830 hours when parc ferme closes to repair the damage to Button's car. With the damage that was incurred this will be easily achieved in the time allowed.
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello secured pole position ahead of Renault's Jarno Trulli, followed by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Ralf Schumacher (Williams). Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and Cristiano Da Matta (Toyota) will start from fifth and sixth position.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's good to see Jacques qualify in the top ten despite the fact that he lost a lot of track time this morning due to an engine failure. The team worked fast to get him out at the end of the second free practice session, and Jacques did a good job this afternoon."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 9th
"I'm very happy. Today's qualifying was much better. Normally this year we have had a good car for the race but couldn't qualify the car, but this weekend we seem to have both. We had an engine failure at the end of the first session this morning but the team deserve a lot of credit for turning around the engine change so quickly. It gave me five minutes' running at the end of the second session, which made a big difference for qualifying. They did an amazing job and this shows they're one of the best in the pit lane. The car performed well on one lap and it was also working well this morning on the long runs, so I'm feeling confident for the race. We changed our tyre option overnight, which was a big help. Even though we are still behind Ferrari, the gap is not as big as it has been in previous races. Overall, I'm feeling optimistic for tomorrow."
Jenson Button Position: 20th
"I'm very disappointed because the car was working so well. We changed a few things from warm-up and the high-speed corners felt great. We had a lot more grip and more speed through Copse and Becketts. You always have to push hard in qualifying so I thought I would push it a bit harder through the last corner before the Hangar Straight. I ran a couple of inches wide, hit the kerb at a different angle, there was a loud bang and I couldn't continue. We now know that the front left push-rod failed under the load which is surprising because we have done a lot of work on load-bearing in testing. It's obviously a great shame because this is my home race and the new car package has been working very well, so this was a good chance to have a strong qualifying position. We could have been right up there but instead we will be starting from 20th tomorrow. I'm sure we can salvage something though. At the Nurburgring we saw Heidfeld finish eighth after starting from the back of the grid, so all is not lost. We just have a lot of work to do tomorrow."