Rubens Barrichello achieved the Honda Racing F1 Team's first top ten finish of the season in today's Spanish Grand Prix, whilst team-mate Jenson Button finished in 12th position.
Having lined up 12th and 14th on the grid, both drivers had a strong start and made up places to lie 10th and 11th respectively at the end of lap two. They were 9th and 10th by lap 11 and both ran in the points at different stages in the race. They were making steady progress before a coming together on lap 22 as Jenson was rejoining the track from the pit lane exit after his first stop. He lost his front wing after making contact with the back of Rubens' car into turn one and was forced to return to the pits for a nose change which compromised his result.
The team will now continue to work hard on improving the performance of the car ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks' time.
Jenson Button: 12th
"We had a good strategy and have been working towards the race all weekend, so I think we were on target for a better day today. Unfortunately, as I exited the pit lane after my first stop, I hit the kerb on the apex and that threw me offline. I lost my front wing as I touched the right rear of Rubens' car and I had to come back in for a nose change and that was that really in terms of fighting for a point."
"In the last stint though I thought our pace was very similar to that of Kovalainen and Rosberg which is what helped me to climb back up to 12th. Overall I think we have had a slightly better weekend but there is a lot of work ahead of us. So we have to keep pushing in the test next week and in Monaco and hopefully that will pay dividends for a better step forward in Montreal."
Rubens Barrichello: 10th
"A better race today in terms of our overall performance and the handling of the car but we just don't have the pace to improve our final position significantly. I had left Jenson enough room at turn one, it's a shame but just one of those racing incidents. We have the four-day test at Paul Ricard this week and I hope we can see another small step forward by Monaco."
Jacky Eeckelaert Engineering Director:
"On the positive side we have made some degree of progress here this weekend. On the other hand, it is just a small step when we have a lot of catching up to do. During the first part of the race both drivers looked to be in a position where they could finish in the top eight. Unfortunately Jenson came together with Rubens after his first stop and damaged his front wing. Rubens ran 8th before the last pit-stop, but the balance on the last set of tyres was not good and he lost the position."