Australian GP Benetton qualifying notes

Jenson Button Qualifying for the 2001 Australian Grand Prix went more or less as expected for the Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team. Jenson Button ended the day 16th-fastest with a lap of 1m30.035s, while his team-mate ...

Jenson Button Qualifying for the 2001 Australian Grand Prix       
went more or less as expected for the Mild Seven Benetton Renault       
Sport team.  Jenson Button ended the day 16th-fastest with a lap of     
1m30.035s, while his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, who suffered a     
water leak mid-session on his B201, set a best time of 1m30.209s to     
claim 17th spot on the grid for Sunday's race.                          

Team Technical Director Mike Gascoyne gave his overview of the session afterwards, saying:

"We didn't expect to qualifying higher than 14th this weekend so I can't say we are overly disappointed. Giancarlo had a water leak in his car after the first two runs, which meant he had to switch to the T-car but that subsequently had a brake problem and I feel this dropped him three places down the grid.

"After Jenson's problems both this morning, where we had to change the gearbox, and yesterday, he did an excellent job to work steadily with his engineer to improve the car with very little running over the weekend," he added.

"Overall we are more or less where we expected to be and our next milestone will be to make the car reliable for the race."

Jenson Button added that after the weekend's difficulties, he was more or less pleased with his grid position, saying:

"Qualifying hasn't gone too badly considering all the problems we have had so far this weekend. I haven't had much track time and therefore haven't got much work done on new tyres, but 16th position considering all this and our expectations, is quite respectable."

Giancarlo Fisichella was less happy with his day's work, after a hectic session which saw him switch to the spare car.

"I only got two runs in today," he explained. "The balance on my car at the beginning was good, even though we could have made some improvements, but after my second run there was a water leak on my car so I switched to the spare car.

"It was really strange to drive," he added. "I don't know what the problem was, but it was pretty much undriveable, so I had to abort my final two runs."

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will next be on track in the Sunday morning warm-up, ahead of the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, which kicks off at 2pm local time.

-Benetton

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton