Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda consolidated a positive start to their Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with a 5th placed grid slot for Takuma Sato in today's final qualifying session - the best-placed grid slot of his F1 career. His team-mate Jenson Button...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda consolidated a positive start to their Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with a 5th placed grid slot for Takuma Sato in today's final qualifying session - the best-placed grid slot of his F1 career. His team-mate Jenson Button will start tomorrow's inaugural race just behind him after posting the 6th fastest time.
Jenson set the pace of the field this morning, clocking the fastest lap time in both sessions, ahead of the Williams and Ferraris. Takuma was 4th fastest in the final session, ahead of this afternoon's decisive single-lap qualifying. Having posted the 8th fastest lap in pre-qualifying, Jenson emerged from the pitlane 13th in line for his final qualifying run, at which point the track temperature had peaked at 54°C and air temperature reached a high of 33°C. Takuma was 9th fastest in pre-qualifying and was the 12th man to embark on his decisive lap.
"It was a good lap considering that I had some oversteer, so I'm quite pleased. It has been a very productive weekend so far and I'm happy that we haven't had any problems so far. I have been able to get lots of laps in and this really helped with my qualifying result, so this just shows what is possible with the right preparation. I'm really looking forward to the race."
"I'm lost as to why my qualifying lap was so slow because we could and should have been quicker based on this morning's running. So I'm actually quite disappointed. The car has been great all weekend and we've been looking so strong, but this afternoon the car felt very different from this morning. Some of that will be down to changing track conditions and loss of grip, but we'll have to look at the information and see what went wrong. There's still some work to do if we are to achieve our full potential here tomorrow. "
David Richards, Team Principal:
"I am delighted that Taku has continued this weekend's good form into qualifying and is now matching Jenson's performance. This is crucial in our bid to challenge the top three teams, and I am confident that both our drivers will be a very strong force in the race tomorrow."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Takuma is very happy with his performance this afternoon, finding good balance during final qualifying when conditions had changed quite a lot relative to this morning. Jenson was not so happy and struggled to find grip for one lap. However, we were pleased to have both cars in the top six and as our strong performance this morning shows, we're in good shape for the race."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Another good day for us in Bahrain. Both our drivers did well today and we're looking strong for the race tomorrow. Another podium is definitely achievable and at the very least we are looking to finish both cars in the points."
Lap time: 1:30.827
Lap time: 1:30.856