The Honda Racing F1 Team's Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button will start tomorrow's 44-lap Belgian Grand Prix from 16th and 17th positions on the grid at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The team's preparations for the qualifying session were ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button will start tomorrow's 44-lap Belgian Grand Prix from 16th and 17th positions on the grid at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The team's preparations for the qualifying session were hindered during this morning's final practice session when a mechanical problem stopped Jenson out on the circuit on his first lap. As a result the engineers had only Rubens' car with which to prepare for qualifying.
Both drivers completed three runs during Q1, and whilst they were able to improve their lap times by more than a second from beginning to end, neither Honda driver was able to progress to Q2. Rubens' best lap of 1:48.153s placed him in 16th position with Jenson was just 0.1s behind his team-mate in 17th place.
Q. A better performance in Qualifying today than we have seen so far this weekend?
A. "We have to be pleased with what we achieved in Qualifying today, particularly given that we have been pretty much at the bottom of the timesheets so far this weekend. It was a good lap and a good effort from the team. It's just a shame that the car is not able to be more competitive here."
Q. After missing out on running time this morning, how difficult was Qualifying for you?
A. "My first lap in Qualifying was the first lap that I did today so in a way it was nice to be able to beat some of our competitors and be close to my team-mate. It was a decent session for us, at the level of performance which the car is showing this weekend, and we will at least be starting from the clean side of the grid. Rain tomorrow would make the race more interesting but unfortunately it's not looking likely."
STEVE CLARK Head of Race & Test Engineering
Q. Would you say that your qualifying positions belie the fact that you have made some progress since yesterday?
A. "That is certainly the case. Following our poor showing yesterday we had to make some pretty significant changes to the cars overnight, both aerodynamic and suspension. Our Friday was not very productive, which is obviously not the best way to go into a Grand Prix weekend. This morning Rubens found the overnight changes to be beneficial but Jenson stopped out on the circuit with a mechanical problem. While P16 & P17 was not where we hoped to be, the reality is that it is a reasonable result given how the weekend started. The cars were well balanced and it seems unlikely that the drivers could have found enough to take them through to Q2."
Q. How will you now approach tomorrow's race?
A. "Starting from the latter half of the grid the strategy has to fairly conservative. Since the circuit modifications a couple of years ago there isn't a high expectation of any safety car periods. The weather forecast is for dry conditions tomorrow, but in Spa there is always the possibility of an unexpected shower so we need to be ready to take advantage if that should be the case."