Takuma Sato concluded a highly successful debut with Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda today, qualifying 11th at the end of a solid first day of running. His team-mate Jenson Button had a less productive day after an engine problem compromised his ...
Takuma Sato concluded a highly successful debut with Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda today, qualifying 11th at the end of a solid first day of running. His team-mate Jenson Button had a less productive day after an engine problem compromised his preparation in free practice this morning and he was disappointed to qualify 15th.
"I've had a fantastic first day with the team and really enjoyed working with them to prepare for first qualifying, especially with Jock Clear. This is the first time I've taken part in one-lap qualifying, so that was very interesting. I'm reasonably happy with my lap. I lost a bit of time in the first sector but there's plenty of time for improvement throughout the rest of the weekend. Today I just wanted to take things steady, work through my programme and establish a good footing with the team and engineers. To be honest, I'm still coming to terms with actually being here racing this weekend, but I'm pleased to have had a good first day and I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the weekend."
"It's really difficult at this circuit, especially when you aren't able to run many laps, as was the case this morning. I lost about 45 minutes as a result of an engine problem, and because of that, qualifying was a bit of a shot in the dark for me. There have been some substantial changes to the circuit this year and because of my limited running I haven't had the chance to work out where the braking areas are or to get the right balance; I had a bit too much understeer. I also didn't get the chance to run on new tyres or with low fuel. It didn't feel like a solid lap and this isn't a great start to a very important weekend for us. We have made it quite difficult for ourselves heading into tomorrow but things can only get better."
David Richards , Team Principal
"I am delighted that Taku has had a positive start to his first racing weekend with us; and that he has performed exactly as required. He needs to focus on maintaining this pace and approach, then I am sure he will have a good result. By contrast, Jenson's engine failure, just eight laps into free practice, is the last thing we needed. As we saw in the subsequent qualifying session, the lack of track time is a major setback, particularly at Suzuka which is such a challenging circuit for any driver. Nevertheless, the whole team is in a positive mood, and we will be doing all we can to get back to where we should be tomorrow."
Geoffrey Willis , Technical Director
"We have had a very positive first day's running with Takuma, who applied himself very professionally throughout the day. He completed all of our programme this morning, and this afternoon drove a very sensible, solid lap. On the other side of the garage it was unfortunately a rather different story. Early on in the session we had a major engine blow-up on Jenson's car and the subsequent fire has damaged quite a number of components. He was unable to complete any of his planned running this morning, which left him to qualify without experience of the tyre or time to get a good set-up."
Shuhei Nakamoto , Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
"Both drivers pushed hard this afternoon. We are sorry that Jenson couldn't show his true potential due to lack of running time this morning caused by an engine failure. Takuma did a good job under the pressure of his first attempt at one-lap qualifying, which is exactly what we expected, having worked closely with him over the past few years."
Lap time: 1:31.832
Lap time: 1:32.374
Takuma Sato - B.A.R Honda 005-06
Jenson Button - B.A.R Honda 005-04
Button T-Car - B.A.R Honda 005-05