The Honda Racing F1 Team were back on the podium today after Jenson Button finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in third position. From second on the grid he was embroiled in a race-long battle with Renault, holding P2 until Alonso squeezed out ahead of him after the second round of pitstops.
Today's result boosts Jenson's points tally to 11 after two rounds of the Championship, which puts him equal second with Michael Schumacher in the Drivers' standings.
Rubens Barrichello had a disappointing end to a difficult weekend, finishing 10th after incurring a stop-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane when he had been looking good for points.
"I'm obviously pleased to see us back on the podium but it was the top step that we had in mind, so we are a little disappointed. We want to be winning races and today showed that we are in the fight, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we can achieve that target."
"Having said that, I was held up by traffic a few times, not least of all by Scott Speed before the second pitstop. Had that not happened, maybe I could have come out of the pits ahead of Alonso. Regardless of that though, we have two weeks and a test in Vallelunga to work through our issues and hopefully we can look forward to better things in Melbourne in two weeks' time."
"It's certainly been an eventful weekend and it was disappointing to end it with a stop-go penalty when I was in with a chance of at least coming away with a few points. These past two races have been a bit of a learning curve but I'm sure things will pick up for the next few races and we can start to realise more of the car's potential."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"We are happy with our first podium of the year. Jenson fought hard all afternoon but in the end we lacked a little pace and he lost some time in traffic during crucial periods of the race, especially around the second stop. Rubens was on course to be fighting for points, but unfortunately got a 10 second stop-go penalty for a pit lane speed violation."
"Another good note was the reliability of the engine, which in its second race showed no problems in dealing with the hot conditions we have encountered in Malaysia. We are certainly encouraged by our performance so far this season, but at the same time are determined to make further improvements and bring us closer to the fight. Let's see what Australia brings."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"Aside from the problem with Rubens yesterday, which necessitated an engine change, we have been encouraged by the engine performance in the first two races. We have two weeks to improve for the next race in Australia and will be working hard in testing and with the data we have gathered here to do our best for Melbourne."
Fastest Lap Time: 1:36.188
Fastest Lap Time: 1:35.604