The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team are bitterly disappointed after both cars retired with engine failures after just two laps of today's Malaysian Grand Prix. The cause of both failures appears to be a recurrence of the engine oil leak which caused...
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team are bitterly disappointed after both cars retired with engine failures after just two laps of today's Malaysian Grand Prix. The cause of both failures appears to be a recurrence of the engine oil leak which caused Jenson Button to miss one of yesterday's free practice sessions.
Unfortunately the countermeasure put in place yesterday, which survived both qualifying sessions, was not sufficiently robust and the leak caused engine fires for Jenson and Anthony Davidson in this afternoon's race.
Jenson started well and in the first two laps easily overtook both Red Bull Racing cars and the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen, moving from 9th to 6th position before the problem occurred. Anthony Davidson also made a solid start to his debut race for the team and was dicing with Jacques Villeneuve.
As the race played out it became clear that B*A*R Honda's strategy was consistent with that of the race leaders which, had the team's race run its course, would have put them in contention for a podium finish.
"It goes without saying that I'm incredibly disappointed and frustrated. I felt I was one of the quickest cars on the circuit - our pace was so strong that I was easily able to take the Red Bull cars and then get close enough to Raikkonen to pass him."
"In light of how our strategy would have played out versus the competition we've let ourselves down today. I'm disappointed for myself, for Anthony in his first race for us and also the team who've worked so hard all weekend in extremely tough conditions. We have to sort this out in time for Bahrain."
"It's so disappointing to end my first race for the team like this. It's been a challenging weekend and I'd like to thank the team and my physio for all their help in getting me ready to race here. It's just a shame that we weren't able to see the hard work come to fruition. It looks like we have a lot of work to do in testing next week, when we'll work to ensure the problem is put right for Bahrain."
Geoff Willis, Technical Director:
"This was a bitterly disappointing end to our race weekend, particularly since Jenson got such a good start and was easily making places in the early laps. The car was handling well and we were confident that our race pace and strategy would bring very good results. It was also very disappointing for Anthony who, having stepped into the car at short notice, did such an excellent job but was deprived of an opportunity to race."
Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer:
"The team has worked incredibly hard between Melbourne and Malaysia, developing improvements that would have put us in a points-scoring or podium position today. I would like to thank them and I can only apologise to everyone, including the drivers, our fans and partners, that we were not able to make best use of a fast car and good strategy."
"However, we must now look forward, fully investigate the problem and I'm confident that, with the strength, skills and resources of B*A*R Honda, we can soon turn the situation around."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We're sorry to the team and drivers about the engine problems. At the moment we think it is the same problem as yesterday. We will be getting a countermeasure in place in time for the Bahrain Grand Prix."