Chinese GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

B.A.R HONDA'S BUTTON TAKES SECOND ROW SPOT AT SHANGHAI Button and Sato to start Chinese GP from third and 19th on the grid Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button qualified his B.A.R Honda 006 in third place at Shanghai this afternoon, to start...

B.A.R HONDA'S BUTTON TAKES SECOND ROW SPOT AT SHANGHAI
Button and Sato to start Chinese GP from third and 19th on the grid

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button qualified his B.A.R Honda 006 in third place at Shanghai this afternoon, to start tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix from the second row. Takuma Sato qualified ninth but will start the race from 19th position due to the 10 place penalty for yesterday's engine change.

The Honda-powered twosome enjoyed a trouble-free morning as they continued to get to grips with the state-of-the-art Shanghai International circuit. Button and Sato covered 53 laps between them and finished the second timed practice session in P4 and P13 respectively.

Having finished 10th in first qualifying, Button took to the track 11th in the running order for final qualifying, half way through the hour-long session. The Briton took provisional pole with a blistering lap of 1m34.295s, finally qualifying his Honda-powered car in P3 on the second row on the clean side of the track alongside Sauber's Felipe Massa.

Sato clocked the eighth fastest time in pre-qualifying this afternoon, so was the 13th man on track for qualifying proper, not long after team-mate Button. The Japanese driver set a time of 1m34.993 and finally qualified ninth on the grid. Sato will start tomorrow's race from 19th as he moves back 10 places due to his engine change on Friday. The B.A.R Honda driver will line up on the back row behind Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) who spun off during his flying lap and finished 18th.

Hot and sunny weather was the order of the day (track 42, air 29 degrees) as Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) took pole position for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, followed by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button. Felipe Massa (Sauber), Ralf Schumacher (Williams) and Renault's Fernando Alonso will line up fourth, fifth and sixth while Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber) and Olivier Panis (Toyota) will start the race from seventh and eighth position on the grid respectively.

Jenson Button Position: 3rd

"I had a good lap so I'm pleased to be starting the race from the second row of the grid. I didn't have a great run in pre-qualifying; I had a few problems with the car but it was much better for qualifying. I don't think we could have got much more out of the car and I was particularly pleased with the last sector. The car is working very well and I think we have a good set-up and strategy for tomorrow. The important thing is that we have qualified well ahead of the Renaults which was our immediate target, so that gives us a good advantage off the line. Generally I'm looking forward to racing here for the first time tomorrow in what should be a very interesting Grand Prix."

Takuma Sato Position: 19th

"It was a difficult day as we lost the whole of the second session yesterday, so I think that the team has done a really good job on all the requests for the set-up of the car. We have done the best that we could today and with a 10-position penalty we have had to work on our strategy to see how the best can be made of these difficult circumstances. Of course I am a little disappointed, but the circuit looks as though there will be some good overtaking opportunities, so overall I believe we should be in a strong position for the race tomorrow."

Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Both drivers did decent laps and have given themselves the best chance they can for a good result. Unfortunately Takuma will have to start 19th because of the engine change yesterday but I want to target some points for him. Jenson, however, should be able to challenge for the podium."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Felipe Massa , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams