HONDA DRIVER IN TOP TEN AT SILVERSTONE Button and Villeneuve finish ninth and 13th in First Qualifying Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the ninth fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the British Grand Prix...
HONDA DRIVER IN TOP TEN AT SILVERSTONE
Button and Villeneuve finish ninth and 13th in First Qualifying
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the ninth fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the British Grand Prix while Jacques Villeneuve finished 13th.
The weather conditions improved considerably from yesterday's persistent rain, although there were a few light showers during the morning. By the time the first free practice session started at 1100 hours, the sun was just breaking through and the track and air temperatures registered 23 and 18 degrees. Jenson Button completed 23 laps, setting a best time of 1m20.933s and finishing seventh at the end of the session. Jacques Villeneuve finished 13th overall with a time of 1m21.246s, covering 24 laps.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher kicked off the first qualifying session at Silverstone as he is currently leading the drivers' championship. The track and air temperatures increased by one degree and the weather conditions remained similar to the morning. Button went out 11th in the running order for his one flying lap, just over 30 minutes into the session. The Briton locked up at Club corner during the first sector of his lap and lost a bit of time, finishing ninth overall with a time of 1m20.569s, just over one second off pole-sitter Michael Schumacher's lap time.
Villeneuve was out on track 13th and half way through his lap it started to spit with rain. The Canadian set a time of 1m21.084s, qualifying in 13th place once all the runs were completed. For final qualifying tomorrow Villeneuve and Button will be out on track in eighth and 12th position respectively, as today's times dictate the running order for final qualifying on Saturday.
Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) set a fastest lap of 1m19.474s around the 5.141km/3.194miles circuit, followed by the Williams duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Olivier Panis (Toyota) finished fourth and fifth while Renault's Jarno Trulli completes the top six positions.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"We will be able to improve the driveability of the engine overnight as well as make some changes to the car, so our target is for both drivers to qualify inside the top ten tomorrow."
Jenson Button Position: 9th
"The run wasn't too bad. It started to drizzle with rain a little which has given the circuit more grip strangely, but there's a lot more grip than we had this morning. It wasn't a perfect lap; I don't think I got the best out of it but we have definitely made a step forward with the car from the last race. The new bodywork has made quite a big difference but we are a little further behind than we wanted to be, so we have just got to hope that we can make progress for tomorrow. We still have quite a bit of work to do on set-up."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 13th
"The car was good for the first half of the lap but by the last two corners the front tyres were gone. It didn't seem slippery out there but it was a little bit difficult as you get to turn one and don't know how much grip there is. Today was the day to try things on the car - Jenson took a different tyre and it looks like that choice is better, so I will go with that choice tomorrow. We have made improvements to the car for this race and we have certainly taken a step forward. We already know what we have to do tomorrow to improve the set-up."