Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda driver Jacques Villeneuve will start his home Grand Prix from the 7th row of the grid after posting the 14th fastest lap in final qualifying today. His team-mate Jenson Button was disappointed to end the session 17th,...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda driver Jacques Villeneuve will start his home Grand Prix from the 7th row of the grid after posting the 14th fastest lap in final qualifying today. His team-mate Jenson Button was disappointed to end the session 17th, which puts him on the ninth row for tomorrow's race.
Both drivers enjoyed a positive morning's running in free practice, using the Bridgestone wet weather tyres to good effect. The track was almost dry prior to the start of the qualifying hour and early runs for the B*A*R drivers saw them compromised as track conditions improved during the session.
"It wasn't a bad lap; there was a couple of tenths still to be had but at least there were no mistakes. Like most of the teams we only got a few laps in the dry so the set-up isn't optimised. I think we'll be stronger in the race - not as strong as we would be in a wet race but we can certainly improve on qualifying. This is always an exciting race so I'm looking forward to it."
"We had a very good free practice this morning with Jacques and I swapping places in the top three at one point. As the track has continued to dry though we've struggled to keep up with the Michelin runners. My qualifying lap was poor from the beginning. I had very low grip throughout and the car wasn't handling at all well, then the rears locked up in the last corner. Even without that problem it wouldn't have been a very impressive lap. It's very disappointing to be starting the race from 17th. It looks like it's going to be dry as well so from this position we have a lot of hard work to do to make the best of things tomorrow once we are able to get more heat into the tyres."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"Having pinpointed our problem in yesterday's running, we made a positive step overnight which saw us improve to third and fifth in free practice this morning. Unfortunately we were unable to translate that progress into this afternoon's session and we are obviously disappointed to be starting so far down the grid. Having said that, this is renowned for being an eventful race and we will now be looking to optimise our strategy in order to make the most of every opportunity tomorrow."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"We had good free practice sessions this morning with the opportunity to run both the extreme wet and normal wet tyres. We felt that we had improved substantially since first qualifying and both drivers were very competitive. The warm-up session was the first time we were able to use the dry tyres but clearly have not made the best of the car's potential this afternoon. Jacques ran first, which is a disadvantage, and his last sector was disappointing compared with warm-up. Jenson made a mistake in that final sector, missing the final chicane. The forecast is for a dry race tomorrow and we are confident that we will be stronger in the race than we have been in qualifying."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Both engines ran well today and our grid positions don't really reflect where we are this weekend. Going out later in the running order would have benefited us as the track conditions improved throughout the session. It was unfortunate that Jenson made a mistake towards the end of his run as he was quick through the first sector. We're all hoping for better results tomorrow."
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-3
Lap time: 1:17.347
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-5
Lap time: 1:18.205