Italian GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Jenson Button will lead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's fight to maintain fifth place in the constructors' championship tomorrow after putting his B*A*R Honda 005 on the fourth row of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix. He posted the seventh fastest...

Jenson Button will lead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's fight to maintain fifth place in the constructors' championship tomorrow after putting his B*A*R Honda 005 on the fourth row of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix. He posted the seventh fastest time in today's final qualifying session, equaling his second best qualifying position of the year and marking a return to the strong qualifying form he demonstrated in the first half of the season. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve also achieved a solid qualifying performance and will line up behind Jenson on the fifth row in 10th place.

Today's result also marks the team's third best combined qualifying performance of the season and sees both cars back in the top ten.

The gusty conditions which afflicted the teams in yesterday's running had subsided today and the weather remained warm and sunny throughout. Track temperature reached 47°C during the qualifying hour, with ambient temperature peaking at 27°C. Jacques was eighth in line to take to the track, whilst Jenson emerged from the pitlane tenth.

Jenson Button:

"I'm really happy with seventh. It's been a while since I've done a really good qualifying lap so it feels great and I'm really pleased for the team. It felt like a very smooth lap and that's what you need here. It felt like I hung it all together and it's fantastic to be starting from the fourth row of the grid, which is where we should be. Tomorrow is a crucial opportunity for us. We have a good strategy and can definitely get points, so we'll be pulling out all the stops to take us a step closer to fifth in the championship."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"I'm quite happy with my lap; it was much better than yesterday. I made a small mistake in the second chicane when the brakes reacted differently to how they did during free practice this morning. The car wasn't working well earlier. We had a few problems and we just about got it right for warm- up, then as the temperature went up my car seemed to work better. If it's like this for the race we should be OK for a points-finish."

David Richards, Team Principal

"It's great to have both the cars back in the top ten and to have qualified so well versus our key competitors in the fight for fifth place. Both Jacques and Jenson have the opportunity to score well in the race, and I will certainly feel much more comfortable if we consolidate our championship position. Today's performance is a direct result of all the hard work that Honda and the test team put in last week here at Monza."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"It's good to have both cars qualifying in the top ten once again. After a disappointing session yesterday we had to spend a lot of time last night identifying the sources of the problem, and so made quite a number of changes to the car for today. This morning, Jenson was a lot happier with his car, Jacques rather less so. By warm-up, however, we were happy that we had a good set-up on both cars. We resisted the temptation to make any changes and were rewarded with a very good lap from Jenson and a solid performance from Jacques. We are confident that we have a good set-up and strategy for tomorrow and we'll be aiming for a points finish with both cars."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"That was a pretty good session - both drivers were pushing really hard and it's great to be back in the top ten. We're getting positive feedback on the latest evolution of the engine and things are going well. Our strategy looks okay so we've got a good chance to fight for a few points tomorrow."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-6
Position: 10th
Lap time: 1:22.717

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Position: 7th
Lap time: 1:22.301

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