Olivier Panis qualified for the German Grand Prix in 7th position today to achieve Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's best qualifying performance of the season. Jacques Villeneuve ended the session within two tenths of his team-mate but was squeezed out...
Olivier Panis qualified for the German Grand Prix in 7th position today to achieve Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's best qualifying performance of the season. Jacques Villeneuve ended the session within two tenths of his team-mate but was squeezed out of the top ten into 11th when traffic compromised what would have been an improved final run.
"I'm delighted with 7th place today. I'm also very pleased for the team because they have worked very hard to make another step forward. I'm particularly happy for Honda because again we've seen the results of their efforts and signs that they have made another step in the right direction. We used the latest engine for the qualifying session and it was a big improvement on free practice this morning. I aborted my first qualifying run because it was clear we needed to fine-tune the driveability but, after that, I was able to continue to push throughout the next three runs. We will be using the same engine tomorrow so I'm really optimistic that we can have a good race from where we are on the grid. We're in a good position now to fight for some points and I intend to make the most of that opportunity."
"The car wasn't bad at all today. Our tyre combination worked well and I'm pleased with the improvement that we saw with the engine in qualifying. Honda have been working very hard and we're starting to see real progress now. The problem today was with the traffic on my last run. The lap was quicker in the first two sectors but then I caught up with Coulthard for the last two corners and, instead of letting me by, he blocked me, which was very annoying as he was on his in-lap. As soon as I got so close to him I lost front aero which made me run wide and then spin the car. It's frustrating because it looks like we could see some very close racing tomorrow. I'm at the wrong end of the tenth today when I could have been inside the top ten had it not been for the problem on my last run."
David Richards, Team Principal
"A very satisfactory qualifying session which provides a good indication of our potential for tomorrow as we've usually performed better in the race. Olivier's 7th place is the team's best qualifying performance of the season and Jacques was in fact only two tenths behind, albeit in 11th place. I am also pleased that all the hard work Honda have put into development over the past few months is now beginning to pay off. I'm hopeful for tomorrow and one thing we can be sure of is that the pit crew will maximise our chances of success as they have continually proven to gain an extra advantage on race day."
time: 1:16.070 (11 laps)
Best lap time: 1:15.851 (12 laps)