B.A.R HONDA'S BUTTON AND SATO FINISH FIFTH AND SIXTH IN HUNGARY Seven points for Honda-powered duo at the Hungaroring Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato put in a solid performance today to finish fifth and sixth in the ...
B.A.R HONDA'S BUTTON AND SATO FINISH FIFTH AND SIXTH IN HUNGARY
Seven points for Honda-powered duo at the Hungaroring
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato put in a solid performance today to finish fifth and sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix, bringing B.A.R Honda's points haul this weekend to seven and closing the gap in the constructors' championship to second-placed Renault to just eight points with five races to go.
Button fell back one place to fifth at the start of the 70 lap race, slotting in behind Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and remaining in P5 until lap 11 and the start of the first wave of pit stops. Six laps later all the front-runners, including Button, had completed their pit stops and the Briton was again running in fifth position behind Montoya.
By lap 24 a three-way fight was brewing for P5, Button leading Jarno Trulli (Renault) and Honda-powered Sato. Button put in some strong lap times and started to pull away from the Italian, before leaving the track for a seven second pit stop on lap 30, rejoining in sixth with Antonio Pizzonia (Williams) still to pit.
Lap 33 saw Pizzonia pit and Button move back up into fifth place. The Honda-powered driver continued to chip away at fourth-placed Montoya and closed the gap to 3.2 seconds by lap 45. Button came in for his third and final stop four laps later, rejoining in P5 as the last pit stop sequence was completed. The Briton pushed hard for the final third of the race and went on to cross the line fifth, four seconds off Montoya, scoring four championship points for himself and B.A.R Honda.
Having qualified a superb third on the grid, Sato was pushed wide at the start, falling back to eighth position behind Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) by the end of lap one. The Honda-powered driver, who was held up by Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) during the first round of pit stops, came in for his own first stop on lap 12, slotting in to P7 behind Trulli by lap 17 after all those ahead of him had pitted and Raikkonen retired.
During his second stint, Sato battled hard and started to eat away at the gap between himself and sixth-placed Trulli. Lap 28 saw the Japanese star complete a clean and tidy 6.7 second pit stop, rejoining the action in ninth position ahead of McLaren's David Coulthard. On lap 31 Trulli pitted and Sato pushed hard to make it past the Italian while he was in the pits to take P7 and slot in behind his team-mate Button.
Sato moved up to sixth place when Pizzonia pitted on lap 33, and was held up by back-markers on lap 37, before pitting for the final time on lap 48. Having been forced wide at the start, the B.A.R Honda driver put in some great laps throughout the race, finally bringing his car home in sixth position to score three valuable points. Today's two-car points finish moves B.A.R Honda one point closer to Renault in the constructors' championship as the fight continues for second place; the teams are now separated by just eight points with five races to go.
The Hungaroring enjoyed fine, dry and sunny weather conditions this afternoon (25 degrees) as Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello scored a Ferrari one-two in the Hungarian Grand Prix, clinching the 2004 constructors' championship for the Italian team. Schumacher also became the first man ever to win 12 races in one season. Renault's Fernando Alonso crossed the line third followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) in fourth place. The B.A.R Honda pairing of Jenson Button and Takuma Sato finished fifth and sixth while Antonio Pizzonia (Williams) and Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella took the final two point scoring positions.
Jenson Button Position: 5th
"I'm a little bit disappointed because we came here expecting better things. I think we might not have put the best condition of tyres on at the first stop, so we lost a lot of time. I had a lot of oversteer which made it very difficult to drive and that's why Jarno was able to get so close to me. Once I made the decision to put a set of conditioned tyres on the balance was much better. My start was reasonable but I lost a couple of places to Alonso and Montoya, then I was able to get past Taku when he went a bit off-line. The main thing is that both cars finished in the points and we've edged that little bit closer to Renault in the Championship."
Takuma Sato Position: 6th
"I had a difficult start. I got off the line reasonably ok but at turn one I was outside Alonso, put a wheel off-line and into the dusty area. I lost traction and several cars managed to get by me over the next few corners as I lost momentum, so it was a tough opening lap. I did my best to recover then towards the end of the race we were a little bit concerned about falling oil pressure so we had to adapt. The most important thing though is that we got both cars to the finish in the points, so now we go to Spa and look forward to a strong race."
Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
"A solid if not spectacular weekend. We have closed the gap to Renault and maintained our lead over Williams. I am sure that Spa will be just as suited to our car so I am looking forward to Belgium very much. Congratulations to Ferrari - they have given us a lesson this year."