HONDA DRIVERS QUALIFY IN TOP TEN AT MONZA Button and Villeneuve qualify seventh and tenth for Italian Grand Prix B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button qualified in seventh place for tomorrow's grid of the Italian Grand Prix to start the race from the...
HONDA DRIVERS QUALIFY IN TOP TEN AT MONZA
Button and Villeneuve qualify seventh and tenth for Italian Grand Prix
B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button qualified in seventh place for tomorrow's grid of the Italian Grand Prix to start the race from the fourth row while team-mate Jacques Villeneuve will start from tenth place.
The superb weather continued in Monza for this afternoon's final qualifying, the air and track temperatures registering 26 and 45 degrees as the session got underway. Marc Gene was out on track first. The Spaniard has replaced Ralf Schumacher in the Williams for the rest of the weekend due to the after effects of the German's crash in testing last week. Ralph Firman is also missing the Italian Grand Prix and Zsolt Baumgartner continues to stand in for the Briton at Jordan Ford.
Villeneuve went out eighth to complete his one flying lap, just over 20 minutes in to the session. The Canadian made a small mistake in the second chicane but the rest of his lap was tidy and he recorded a time of 1m22.717s, finally qualifying in tenth position for tomorrow's race.
Button took to the track tenth in the running order, almost half way through the session. The Briton pushed hard and put in a great lap of 1m22.301s, snatching second place from McLaren's David Coulthard. Button's time qualified him in seventh place on the grid after all the runs were completed.
Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) will start from the front row, followed by Rubens Barrichello in the second Ferrari and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. Marc Gene (Williams) and Renault's Jarno Trulli will start from fifth and sixth position on the grid.
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."
Jenson Button Position: 7th
"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 Position: 10th
"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."