Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato completed first qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix in 12th and 13th positions today. This was the first time this season that Takuma has been able to complete a qualifying...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato completed first qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix in 12th and 13th positions today.
This was the first time this season that Takuma has been able to complete a qualifying session, after problems in Australia caused him to miss his decisive runs and illness forced his withdrawal from the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
He was therefore designated the second driver out on track for today's session, which meant that he suffered the worst of a dusty track. Jenson followed two laps later and was equally compromised by the less than optimal conditions.
Although both drivers were disappointed after missing out on their target of a top-10 placing, they were encouraged by a problem-free morning's running and are optimistic of better things in final qualifying and tomorrow's 57-lap race.
"It was a reasonable lap, but the track is so hot and there is very little grip. At turn 8 I had a little bit of oversteer so I lost some time there but generally, given the timing of our qualifying slot and the relative track conditions, there was little opportunity to improve on my time."
"We will have to see what tomorrow's final qualifying brings but it seems that we will start the race from the middle of the grid. Hopefully the car will be as strong as it was when we started the race in Malaysia and if we can stay reliable then we should be able to finish in the points."
"It was a bit difficult to achieve good stability because we were one of the early runners on a dusty track, and because of the wind, especially when I was braking under the tail wind. It is also incredibly hot out there! The balance was much better today and obviously I achieved a lot more running than yesterday, so I am happier in the car and looking forward to tomorrow's final session and then a stronger race."
"Given our early qualifying slots, our result today was much as we expected. We have not been as happy with the car's handling here as we were at Malaysia, so during this morning's running we ran through a busy programme of set-up changes on both cars. The important thing for us this weekend is to get a good race finish, so we have concentrated on getting a consistent balance for the race tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"We had a productive morning and did a lot of work on our race set-up. Qualifying shows our true speed at this point over a single lap but I think we can fight for some points in the race tomorrow."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-02