Italian GP: BAR Friday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 11th and 13th respectively in today's first qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. After a very positive test in Monza last week, the team had been hoping for a ...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 11th and 13th respectively in today's first qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. After a very positive test in Monza last week, the team had been hoping for a better start to the last round of the European season and were particularly disappointed that Jacques lost valuable track time in this morning's free practice session due to an electrical problem.

The weather conditions at the legendary Monza circuit remained warm and sunny throughout the day, but with gusty winds making the car inconsistent. Track temperature peaked at 45°C during the qualifying hour, with the ambient temperature reaching 27°C. Jenson was the 10th driver to join the track for his single-lap run, in respect of his position in the drivers' championship, whilst his team-mate Jacques left the pitlane 15th in line.

Their placings today determine their positions for the start of tomorrow's final qualifying session, for which Jacques will leave the garage eighth in line with Jenson following him as the tenth car out on track.

Jenson Button:

"It was quite a good lap but I'm a little bit disappointed because I was quicker in free practice. There was a lot less grip out there this afternoon and I had quite a lot of understeer in the high speed corners. It's only Friday though and we're a little more optimistic for the rest of the weekend. There were quite a lot of fallen leaves and gusty winds out there today, so when the track picks up tomorrow we should be able to qualify in the top 10 quite easily. Last week in testing we found a tyre that is consistent and when all of those factors come together I'm sure we can do a lot better."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"Today is not a very satisfying day because we didn't complete our programme in free practice this morning due to an electrical problem. Because of that we weren't able to run in qualy spec, so this afternoon it was just a case of trying to complete a clean lap to leave us in a reasonable position for the start of final qualifying. Hopefully we will get a better day tomorrow without any problems and that should make all the difference."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"We obviously need to try to understand where we lost time compared with free practice this morning, when we appeared to be as competitive as we were in last week's testing. I'm sure that tomorrow morning's two sessions will resolve this and we will be far stronger for the race."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"This was a disappointing qualifying session for us today and we have a lot of work to do this evening. Following on directly from our test here last week it is often risky to draw conclusions until track conditions stabilise, however we were fairly happy with the car in the morning. Jacques lost a little track time at the end of the morning when we located an electrical problem. We are still optimistic that we can be more competitive during the rest of the weekend."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Unfortunately we haven't managed to match the time we set this morning. However, we've got the potential to do well here and I'm looking forward to a challenging and rewarding weekend."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-6
Position: 13th
Lap time: 1:22.858

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Position: 11th
Lap time: 1:22.495

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto