The Honda Racing F1 Team ended its 2006 season in style today as Jenson Button secured another podium finish for the team in a breathtaking title decider at the Interlagos circuit. He took the chequered flag in third position after a brilliant...
The Honda Racing F1 Team ended its 2006 season in style today as Jenson Button secured another podium finish for the team in a breathtaking title decider at the Interlagos circuit. He took the chequered flag in third position after a brilliant drive from 14th on the grid, while local hero Rubens Barrichello crossed the line in seventh place.
Today's result brings the Honda Racing F1 Team's tally to 21 points finishes, with Jenson securing his seventh consecutive points haul, to make a total of 11 from the 18 races. Rubens brought home points on 10 occasions from the 18 opportunities. They end the Drivers' Championship sixth and seventh, whilst the team takes a strong fourth position in the Constructors' Championship, 50 points ahead of the next team.
Today's result is a fitting tribute to a hard-fought and competitive second half of the year and makes the farewell to title sponsor Lucky Strike and tyre supplier Michelin in their final race with the team all the more poignant.
"I'm thrilled to end the season on the podium, especially coming through from 14th on the grid yet again and after the problem we experienced yesterday. This result came out of a genuine fight, with the car showing great competitiveness. It was one of the most enjoyable races I have experienced."
"It's only natural to think about where we could have finished if we had been able to start further up the grid, but we shouldn't take anything away from a great result and a very strong second half of the season."
"My thanks to everyone in the team, and all our partners and fans. This is a fantastic way to go into the winter when I'm sure we will all have the motivation to push harder for a much stronger 2007 season."
"It was tough for me today. I couldn't get a rhythm in the car and I was having some difficulties with the handling, but still we got two cars in the points once again. Jenson had a good race coming from the back to get on the podium, so it's a strong end of the season for us."
"I have to say that I struggled this year with the car but we have the winter to work hard with the benefit of all the lessons we have learned this season. I would also like to congratulate Felipe on his fantastic win today. We all get in life what we deserve, and he has had a great weekend. My thanks to everyone associated with our team for a great first season with Honda. Now I'm looking forward to 2007."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"What a great way to finish the season and what a spectacular drive by Jenson to come all the way from 14th to the podium once again! Jenson had a good start and made up a lot of places on the first lap. After that he was flying, executing some brilliantly judged overtaking manoeuvres. Once he caught up with Alonso, he put up a good fight to try and pass him for second. Rubens raced hard throughout, posing a strong challenge to Fisichella who was on a similar strategy."
"Today is a day of many milestones. First of all, well done to Fernando Alonso on a much-deserved second World Championship title. Many congratulations and best wishes to Michael Schumacher on a brilliant and inspiring career that brought many F1 fans a lot of joy over 15 years of spectacular racing."
"Many thanks also to the founders of this team, British American Tobacco, and title sponsor Lucky Strike, in what is their last race, for their confidence, support and vision. Lastly we should also thank our partners - particularly Michelin - and the many talented Honda team members in Japan and the UK for the tremendous effort and dedication which has culminated in this great final result of the season."
Jenson Button: 3rd
Fastest lap: 1:13.053
Rubens Barrichello: 7th
Fastest lap: 1:13.391