An eventful German Grand Prix ended in disappointment for the Honda Racing F1 Team after a series of incidents involving both drivers resulted in only Jenson Button taking the chequered flag in 17th position. Both drivers made good starts,...
An eventful German Grand Prix ended in disappointment for the Honda Racing F1 Team after a series of incidents involving both drivers resulted in only Jenson Button taking the chequered flag in 17th position.
Both drivers made good starts, each gaining a position on the opening lap. Rubens went on to make another place on lap two, when he passed Nakajima for 16th. Jenson was fending off Coulthard's advances in the first stint of the race but on lap 14 he got the better of him into turn 2, demoting Jenson to 15th position.
Jenson made his first pitstop on lap 28, rejoining the race in 17th. Rubens followed him into the pits four laps later and rejoined just ahead of Button. Having switched from the option tyre to the prime, Jenson was struggling for grip and losing a lot of time and when the safety car came out the team brought him in to change back to the option. When the race re-started on lap 41 he was back in 18th place from where he was able to gain only one place and he finished the race one lap down.
Rubens was fighting hard in 15th but his race ended on lap 50 when he and Coulthard collided at turn 8, forcing the Honda driver into retirement.
Weather: Dry and sunny
Q. Jenson, sum up the German Grand Prix weekend for us?
A. "A frustrating race today and it is obviously disappointing to finish in 17th position. We pitted early for my first stop to prevent Rosberg overtaking and I lost a lot of time there to both him and Rubens because we had no performance on the prime tyre after my stop. The traction was really poor and I was losing so much time out of the corners. When the safety car came out, we immediately pitted for tyres to enable us to switch back to the option tyre as soon as possible and unfortunately that meant that although I was a lap down, I was not able to overtake the leader. I'm very disappointed, particularly after a stronger qualifying performance than in recent races, but we'll learn from our mistakes today."
Q. After a memorable race in Silverstone, a more difficult weekend this time around?
A. "The race began well today as I gained a couple of positions at the start and our strategy was to run as long as possible. Unfortunately we didn't have the pace to be competitive and we were really struggling with the traction. Our strategy was good but if we had been able to run for just another few laps it would have made my day, just as it did for Piquet Jr. Congratulations to him on his podium. The incident with Coulthard which ended my race was just unlucky. I was trying to force him to take a wider line on the outside through turn nine so that on turn 10 I would be able to come up the inside, but unfortunately he didn't see me on the inside and we touched. The team could see at the stop that there was too much damage to the front bargeboards to continue and that ended my race."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. Sum up the team's performance during the German Grand Prix weekend?
A. "Well unfortunately we weren't very quick today. At Jenson's first stop, when we put on his second set of tyres, we lost all performance, which was unexpected. We lost a lot of grip and started to fall down the field. So when the safety car came out following Glock's accident, we took the opportunity to change the tyres back to the options. We didn't struggle quite so badly with Rubens' car but he needed to push through the field because he had one more pitstop due. Unfortunately he collided with Coulthard and the resulting damage ended his race. So a disappointing outcome this weekend."
Q. What can you do to improve for the next few races?
A. "We have a four-day test in Jerez next week when we will be evaluating our new rear suspension, which we are optimistic about. We also have the latest update to our aero package, so I think those two elements combined should enable us to make a step forward in Hungary."