US GP: Honda race notes

Rubens Barrichello ended an action-packed United States Grand Prix in 6th position today, securing much-welcomed championship points for the Honda Racing F1 Team. His team-mate Jenson Button was caught up in the first lap drama which took out no...

Rubens Barrichello ended an action-packed United States Grand Prix in 6th position today, securing much-welcomed championship points for the Honda Racing F1 Team. His team-mate Jenson Button was caught up in the first lap drama which took out no fewer than 8 cars in a race which ultimately saw the field decimated by more than half. Just 9 drivers out of 22 took the chequered flag after 73 laps of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jenson was hit by Juan Pablo Montoya on the left rear wheel, which in turn launched him into Nick Heidfeld. He returned to the pits where the team worked furiously to try to repair the damage but despite their best efforts, Jenson was forced to retire.

Despite their disappointment that only one car finished the race, the Honda Racing F1 Team were encouraged by an otherwise positive weekend. Rubens and Jenson now head to Jerez where they will take part in a three-day test to prepare for the French Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Rubens Barrichello:

"It was a long and tough race this afternoon but I'm pleased to finish in a good points position. The car was really quite nice to drive and we had chosen an aggressive strategy in qualifying. The conditions out there were also really hard with the 37 degree heat. It was a real shame that only 9 cars finished because I wanted the US fans to have a great race this year."

"There was a lot of action for them but the first lap incident was unfortunate. We have had a much more positive weekend here and I think if we work hard we can continue improving. We now have a busy test coming up in Jerez next week to evaluate some developments for France, where I hope we will begin a much better second half of the season."

Jenson Button:

"It's really disappointing because we were fuelled to go long and I think the strategy would have worked well for us. We had a great opportunity today. I was approaching turn two and we were already three abreast when Montoya decided to get past all three of us at the same time."

"He had a lot of room to go up the inside so I don't really know why he hit my back wheel, but that pushed me into Heidfeld who hit my right rear which launched his car into the air. I saw him roll and it was all just a big mess really. We came in and the guys worked on the car but it became clear that it would not have been able to finish the race."

"The impact was so hard I'm surprised I was able to drive away from it, never mind get back to the pits, so it just goes to show what a strong car we have. Very frustrating but I guess we have to put it behind us and look ahead to the test next week, which should bring us some positive steps for Magny-Cours."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:

"We have mixed feelings about today. Rubens drove a hard race pushing all the way to collect our first points since Monaco. Jenson unfortunately got caught out in the first lap incident and as a result of the damage incurred, we had to retire the car. Overall this was a much more competitive race for us than of late, although we continue to set our sights higher. We are testing in Jerez next week to evaluate improvements for the next round where hopefully we can continue our progression."

Rubens Barrichello: 6th
Chassis: RA106-01
Fastest lap: 1:13.611

Jenson Button: DNF (lap 3)
Chassis: RA106-05
Fastest lap: n/a

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team