French GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

HONDA DRIVER TO LINE UP ON SIXTH ROW Villeneuve and Button qualify 12th and 14th for French Grand Prix Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in 12th place for tomorrow's grid of the French Grand Prix to start the race from ...

HONDA DRIVER TO LINE UP ON SIXTH ROW
Villeneuve and Button qualify 12th and 14th for French Grand Prix

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in 12th place for tomorrow's grid of the French Grand Prix to start the race from the sixth row while team-mate Jenson Button qualified in 14th place.

In complete contrast to yesterday's poor weather conditions, Magny-Cours enjoyed sunshine and partly cloudy skies for this afternoon's final qualifying, the air temperature registering 22 degrees as the session got underway. B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button took to the track second in the running order. The Briton struggled with understeer and recorded a time of 1m17.077s, finally qualifying in 14th place after all the runs were completed.

Jacques Villeneuve went out 15th to complete his one flying lap around the Circuit de Nevers, 45 minutes into the session, the track temperature registering 30 degrees, having peaked at 36 mid-way through the qualifying hour. The Canadian completed a tidy lap, recording a time of 1m16.990s, finally qualifying in 12th position for tomorrow's race.

Ralf Schumacher will line up on the front row alongside Williams team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya, followed by Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. The second McLaren of David Coulthard and Renault's Jarno Trulli will start from fifth and sixth position on the grid.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Although our starting position isn't great I think we did okay today. Jenson didn't have much time on track this morning due to the engine change, which obviously put him at a bit of a disadvantage. We have to push to get a good start tomorrow and fight for points."

Jacques Villeneuve Position: 12th

"I'm quite pleased with the lap because it was better than I had anticipated. I had good balance and everything worked fine but we got as much grip as we could from the tyres and 12th is where we are today. There were a couple of tenths to be had maybe, because it was a good lap but not a crazy lap, but nothing that would have put us any further up the grid. It's going to be another tough race tomorrow."

Jenson Button Position: 14th

"We haven't really had any running time in which to set the car up properly, so the lap was OK considering. I've only done about 40 minutes work out of an available two and a half hours of free practice time as a result of us having to withdraw from yesterday's first session and then an engine problem which put me out for most of the third session this morning."

"Most of the work I have done has been for the race so 14th was the best I could hope for in qualifying. It's never a good thing to be one of the first on track in qualifying, then on my lap I got a bit too much understeer in the first of the three new corners and lost a couple of tenths there, which is quite disappointing. The car generally feels quite good though and I'm confident about our strategy, so we'll just have to wait and see what the race brings now."

-honda-

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