Belgian GP: Honda Friday practice notes

THREE HONDA-POWERED DRIVERS IN TOP FIVE ON FRIDAY IN BELGIUM Button, Davidson and Sato finish second, fourth and fifth at Spa Francorchamps Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button set the second fastest time of the afternoon in Friday Free ...

THREE HONDA-POWERED DRIVERS IN TOP FIVE ON FRIDAY IN BELGIUM
Button, Davidson and Sato finish second, fourth and fifth at Spa Francorchamps

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button set the second fastest time of the afternoon in Friday Free Practice at Spa Francorchamps in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. Japanese team-mate Takuma Sato and B.A.R Honda third driver Anthony Davidson finished the afternoon fourth and fifth fastest respectively.

Button completed six laps in the morning practice session and set the 11th fastest time around the 4.333miles/6.973km Spa circuit. Despite battling with understeer the Briton went on to clock a 1m45.015s, covering 15 laps and ending the afternoon in second place.

In free practice 1, Davidson was on fine form, seeing off the Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello to set the fastest time of the morning, a 1m45.104s. In the afternoon session Davidson set the fourth fastest time of 1m45.437s; the British driver notched up 35 laps in total over both sessions.

Sato went out this morning with just over five minutes of the session left to run, clocking the 13th fastest time of the morning. In the afternoon practice session the Honda-powered star set the fifth fastest time, a 1m45.451s, covering 25 laps overall.

Both sessions were carried out in overcast weather conditions (air 18, track 22 degrees) but it remained dry at Spa as Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) was the man to beat this afternoon. B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson sandwiched the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher, followed by B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato in fifth place. McLaren's David Coulthard and Williams' Antonio Pizzonia set the sixth and seventh fastest times while Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) ended the afternoon eighth.

Jenson Button Position: 2nd

"So far, so good. Having all three of our drivers in the top five today is a great start to the weekend. We started out this morning with very low grip, but we've found a way round that and things are going pretty well. It's a circuit I really enjoy and I had missed the challenge of Eau Rouge. Obviously the chicane at the end of the lap is a little different to what we're used to but it's still very exciting because you can outbreak yourself very easily, so you can lose a bit of time there. The car is working well here. Ferrari are looking very strong as usual but we have to compare ourselves to Renault, who are our immediate competitors in the Championship."

Anthony Davidson Position: 4th

"It's great to be back here at Spa - a circuit I know pretty well from my Formula Ford and Formula 3 days, as well as racing here for Minardi two years ago. I felt very happy with my performance this morning but my session was cut short by an oil leak, so I couldn't finalise my back to back tyre comparison and had to postpone it until the second session. The track was a bit damp to start with and full of marbles, but it cleared up pretty quickly. I personally don't think the changes to the Bus Stop have made a significant difference; it was always the trickiest part of the track to get 100% right and that's still the case. One thing that hasn't changed though is the weather! The rain held off today but I'm sure there will be plenty more to come throughout the rest of the weekend!"

Takuma Sato Position: 5th

"It is great to be back in Spa again and to see all of our cars finishing in the top five today. We are very happy with the cars' performance as we were quick on the first timed laps, however we need to work on the consistency of the longer runs tomorrow as this is what counts in the race. Luckily we had dry weather today and we had no problems with the laps, so we are happy and looking forward to another strong programme tomorrow."

Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development

"A fairly routine Friday for us. The car looks to be competitive as all three drivers have been quick at different times during the sessions today. Let's see what the weather brings tomorrow."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Antonio Pizzonia , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Minardi