Belgian GP Benetton Saturday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a competitive qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. All of the F1 teams had a hectic morning after the free practice sessions were postponed for two hours due to fog hanging over...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a competitive qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. All of the F1 teams had a hectic morning after the free practice sessions were postponed for two hours due to fog hanging over the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, and the second session had to be cancelled as the qualifying hour approached.

Giancarlo Fisichella qualified eighth with a lap time of 1m57.668s and said he was pleased with his position, but felt he could have improved on it in the closing minutes as the track dried out from the morning's heavy rain.

"We are happy with eighth position, which was our target for today. During the morning session we worked out a good dry set-up and I was pleased about how the car performed in the wet, too.

"Personally I'm a bit disappointed because I think I could have been among the top five, but overall it has been a very good weekend so far and the goal for tomorrow is definitely to score some points," he added.

Jenson Button will line up in 15th place on the grid after a qualifying lap of 1m59.587s, and explained afterwards that tyre choice was to blame for his missing out on a higher position.

"We started on wets, but when it started to dry I thought it would be best to switch to intermediate tyres, which looking at my final times was obviously the wrong way to go.

"It's a shame that qualifying turned out as it did, because we had shown a good turn of speed in the final free practice session this morning, but I don't feel discouraged for tomorrow's race because on this unpredictable circuit, anything can happen," he added.

The team's Technical Director Mike Gascoyne was pleased overall with the team's hard work and said he was looking forward to a competitive performance in tomorrow's grand prix.

"This is our best qualifying performance of the year and we are very pleased. We did not get the timing quite right with either car in terms of being on the track at the best moment, but on the other hand it is very easy to get it wrong in these conditions.

"If we had got the timing right with Giancarlo, who was on slick tyres during the final laps, we could have been even higher up," he continued.

"But we have been very competitive the whole weekend, making steps forward, and that is thanks to the team's hard work. Now we have to look to convert this into a good, points-scoring race performance tomorrow."

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