The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ended today's San Marino Grand Prix in 7th and 10th positions after pitstop problems overshadowed a good step forward in car race speed. After lining up on the 1st and 2nd rows of...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ended today's San Marino Grand Prix in 7th and 10th positions after pitstop problems overshadowed a good step forward in car race speed.
After lining up on the 1st and 2nd rows of the grid, Jenson maintained position through the opening lap whilst Rubens got a bad start and lost two places. During the opening stint of the race, both cars demonstrated good pace and confirmed a sound strategy, but the team went on to encounter a series of problems in the pits.
At Rubens' first pitstop his fuel rig failed to deliver so the team rapidly switched to Jenson's rig. At Jenson's first stop there was a problem with the right rear wheel nut and then in his second stop the lollipop was lifted momentarily before the fuel nozzle was disconnected.
As the car pulled away, a number of mechanics were hit by the fuel hose and knocked over. Some fuel was spilt, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt and fire extinguishers were instantly on stand-by but fortunately were not required.
"There is no doubt that we missed out on the chance of a podium today as the car was quick and we had a good strategy. I had a problem at the first pitstop with the right rear wheel going on and then in the second pitstop the lollipop was raised before the fuel hose was disconnected."
"Unfortunately when that happens, it takes all of the pit crew with it. The Chief Mechanic has lifted the lollipop perfectly hundreds of times before and I know he'll make sure this never happens again. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and I know the boys will be back giving it their all at the next race."
"Today has been disappointing but we had the pace and we have certainly moved forward a lot since Australia. We've said this many times before but we just have to stay focused and keep pushing."
"It was disappointing for us today at the end of what has been a strong weekend. I had a bad start and then lost a lot of time at my first pit stop. The nozzle failed and the team had to switch me to the other one."
"The pace of the car was okay, particularly on the first run, but it was a bit more difficult in the middle section. The lack of pace was due to the rear tyres locking; even though the brakes have got a lot better, the rears were locking on new tyres. However, the balance of the car is better so we are getting stronger, we just need to work hard at the areas which are catching us out."
"If it wasn't for the problems with fuelling today, I could have finished in the top six. The team is working well and we're much happier with the tyre-warming issues, so we should make a fresh start in Nürburgring in two weeks."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Needless to say this was a difficult day for us when unfortunately it all went wrong in the pits. On his first stop, Rubens had a fuel rig failure and on Jenson's second stop the problems were more dramatic but thankfully no one was hurt as a result of the incident."
"We are certainly all disappointed with the final results, however if we had not had such an uncharacteristically bad day in the pits we would most likely have been fighting for a podium position. Our car pace this weekend was competitive and it is onwards and upwards to the Nürburgring now."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development
"Overall the race was disappointing today. We have not been able to get the best out of the car or ourselves this weekend so we have to refocus for the Nürburgring in two weeks."
Fastest lap: 1:26.129
Fastest lap: 1:25.347