Malaysian GP: Honda Saturday notes

FISICHELLA HEADS HONDA FOURSOME Jordan Honda driver to start ninth in Malaysia Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) and Jacques Villeneuve (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from rows five and seven after...

FISICHELLA HEADS HONDA FOURSOME Jordan Honda driver to start ninth in Malaysia

Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) and Jacques Villeneuve (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from rows five and seven after they qualified in ninth and 13th positions respectively. Their team-mates Takuma Sato (Jordan Honda) and Olivier Panis (B.A.R Honda) qualified 15th and 18th. A gearbox oil leak was discovered on Panis' car just before the start of the session so the Frenchman had to use the spare car which had originally been set up for Villeneuve.

Pole position was reserved by Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, who waited until over half the session was complete before taking to the track. Last year's winner and reigning world champion is joined on the front row of the grid by Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams). The second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello will start from third spot tomorrow alongside the Williams of Ralf Schumacher. The McLaren pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard complete the top six positions.

Shuhei Nakamoto, Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development

"Overall we've had a good day in that all four of the Honda-powered cars ran without any engine problems. It was a virtually trouble-free session for all the Honda-powered drivers except Olivier, who had to swap to the spare car at short notice due to a gearbox oil leak. Our pre-season target was to focus on reliability for the first three races, because we are not yet able to fully exploit the performance of our new engine. The Malaysian Grand Prix has proved to be an unpredictable race in the past and we hope that our engine reliability will help the Honda-powered drivers to fight for some points tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichell Position: 9th

"Today was a pretty good performance. Our target was to be in the top eight and we are just outside that, so I am happy. The balance of the car was good throughout the qualifying hour and we made very few set up changes. I made some mistakes on the last runs so might have been able to improve on the lap time a little, but basically I think we found the limit today. The first goal for tomorrow is to finish the race, and to do so in the points would be fantastic."

Jacques Villeneuve Position: 13th

"I had a good qualifying lap but I was 13th today because we're not fast enough. We still have some work to do to give us the best chance tomorrow. It's a tough physical race but I've done all the training and I feel prepared. We still have a chance of finishing in the points."

Takuma Sato Position: 15th

"After the problems we had in Melbourne, this was my first real experience of Formula One qualifying and I am relatively satisfied with the performance. My first run was good - the car felt well balanced and everything went without any problems. I managed to improve on the time in my third run, but traffic and a mistake on my part spoiled the second and fourth outings (respectively). But overall I am quite happy and very much looking forward to building on today's performance in tomorrow's race."

Olivier Panis Position: 18th

"Today is definitely a day to forget. The morning session was complicated by a repetition of the electronic problems we encountered yesterday, then 10 minutes before the qualifying session we found a gearbox oil leak. At first we decided to move straight to the T-car, but the team continued to work on my car and thought they had fixed the problem. I took the race car but unfortunately, after one lap, I lost gearbox oil pressure and then had to switch to the T-car 12 minutes before the end of the session. The mechanics made a tremendous effort to prepare the car, but in the end, I had to drive a car that was not set up for me. We have a great deal of work to do and a lot of things to change in the future. Regarding the race, I will have to wait and see what happens in warm-up before I can make any predictions."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Jordan