The Honda Racing F1 Team picked up two more World Championship points this afternoon when Rubens Barrichello finished seventh in a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix. Jenson Button, who started the 70-lap race from the pitlane, came home in 11th ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team picked up two more World Championship points this afternoon when Rubens Barrichello finished seventh in a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix. Jenson Button, who started the 70-lap race from the pitlane, came home in 11th place.
Rubens drove a tenacious race from start-to-finish. After starting ninth, his track position was helped on lap 17 by the deployment of the safety car, which resulted in the front-runners pitting and then crashing into each other at the exit of the pitlane. Rubens stayed out and ran second to Heidfeld, before leading the race for seven laps ahead of his only pitstop of the race on lap 36.
Once the race had settled down, Rubens was running fourth when battling with a lack of grip which caused him to run wide going into turn 4 on lap 59. This enabled Glock and Trulli to squeeze through, dropping him to sixth. Rubens battled hard to defend his position in the remaining 11 laps and whilst Massa got by, he managed to keep Vettel at bay to cross the line in seventh position.
Jenson, meanwhile, faced an uphill struggle from the pitlane. He ended the opening lap in 20th place, before battling his way up to seventh position prior to making his final pitstop on lap 53. He rejoined in 11th place where he remained for the duration of the race.
Warm and dry
Q. Congratulations on another two points today but a tough race for you physically?
A. "I'm pleased with the two points today, particularly as we thought our chances of a points finish were slim when we started the weekend. It was a very tough race and I have not been feeling well since yesterday due to a cold, which made it an even tougher physical challenge. We were running well on the prime tyre for the first part of the race and the safety car certainly helped to improve our track position. Unfortunately when we switched to the option tyre after my one and only stop and with a heavy fuel load, I was really struggling with a lack of grip. I went off the track on the marbles and lost a couple of positions at turns three and four, which is a shame. Yesterday I didn't know if I was going to be well enough to race, so all things considered we did a good job today and I'm pleased to keep up the points-scoring momentum from Monaco."
Q. This had all the makings of a challenging race for the team and unfortunately things didn't go your way this weekend?
A. "It was a very tough and ultimately disappointing race today. It's always difficult starting from the back of the grid and we were using a set-up that we hadn't run previously this weekend. Things didn't quite go our way with the strategy and safety car which meant I was unable to make any progress up the field by the end of the race. We need to get our heads down now and work hard to make improvements before France to ensure that we are more competitive there."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. Today's Canadian Grand Prix produced mixed results for the two drivers, however two more points for the team and Rubens. Tell us about the race.
A. "Rubens was fuelled long on a fairly typical strategy. The early safety car was deployed at the ideal moment for him, forcing the two stopping cars in front of him to pit. The incident in the pit lane also served to take out three of the faster cars and open up the points paying positions further. At the restart Rubens was able to pull out a little gap, although losing a place to Coulthard was inevitable. Rubens had done a great job in qualifying and we knew the race would be defensive, especially fuelled heavily on the option tyre in the second half of the race. Sadly his one small mistake, due to a lack of grip, cost him two positions. He then had to succumb to the advancing Massa and he dropped to seventh. With Jenson, we swapped the tyres in the safety car period, so he did not need to run on the weaker option later. For him the safety car just did not open the race enough to enable him to get into the points."
Q. How will you be preparing for your return to Europe?
A. "We always knew this was going to be a tough race for us but we made the best of the opportunities and came away with more points. That is the approach we need to maintain. We are heading to Barcelona next week ahead of the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours, where the higher downforce characteristics of this track and potentially high temperatures will suit our car better."