Canadian GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

HONDA-POWERED BUTTON TO START CANADIAN GP FROM FRONT ROW B.A.R Honda's Button and Sato qualify second and 17th in Montreal Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button was again on fine form at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today when he qualified...

HONDA-POWERED BUTTON TO START CANADIAN GP FROM FRONT ROW
B.A.R Honda's Button and Sato qualify second and 17th in Montreal

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button was again on fine form at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today when he qualified his B.A.R Honda 006 on the front row of the grid to start tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix from second place. It was not such a good day for his team-mate Takuma Sato, who qualified 17th and will start the race from the ninth row.

Having finished seventh fastest in pre-qualifying, Button was out on track 14th for his final run, just over half way through the thrilling session. The Briton was sensational, completing a brilliant lap around the 4.361km/2.709 mile circuit. His time of 1m12.341s was over a second quicker than Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and was good enough for pole until the last man on track, Ralf Schumacher (Williams) edged him out by just six hundredths of a second.

Sato's P4 in pre-qualifying this afternoon meant the B.A.R Honda driver was the 17th man on track in final qualifying. The Japanese star flew through sector one and lost a bit of time in the second sector but was still looking good for a front row spot when he spun his B.A.R Honda 006 in the final chicane. Sato corrected himself and continued to cross the line, clocking a time of 1m17.004, qualifying 17th on the grid.

Montreal enjoyed fine and dry weather conditions as Ralf Schumacher (Williams) snatched pole position from B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button for tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix. Button will line up alongside the German on the front row and the pair will be followed by Renault's Jarno Trulli and the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya. Renault's Fernando Alonso and the Ferrari duo of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello qualified in fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively while Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) will start the race from eighth on the grid.

Jenson Button Position: 2nd

"I'm very pleased with my lap and a front row grid slot. Not as pleased as if I'd held on to pole but I'll settle for second. I lost a bit of time in the hairpin because I went a bit deep and locked up the front right. There are a couple more tenths in the car yet so to be a full second ahead of Michael is fantastic; a bit strange but great nonetheless."

"Having three cars between myself and Michael is a bonus - but I guess I still have Jarno behind me to worry about! Neither the team nor myself have ever had much luck here and it would be nice for us to change that this weekend. I'm told it will be a capacity crowd here tomorrow and I'm optimistic that we can give them something other than a Ferrari 1-2 to smile about!"

Takuma Sato Position: 17th

"It has been a difficult day for me. In the morning session we lost the first part of the practice due to an oil pressure problem and then lost part of the second practice session, so we could not try all of the variables on the car that we wanted to. However, the car felt great in pre-qualifying and I started the final qualifying session feeling very confident."

"Sector one was very good, but I had a slide through turns six and seven, and in trying to make up time, I missed the first part of the last chicane and hit the kerb. I'm very annoyed with myself and I've certainly made life hard by having to start so far back down the grid. It will be a tough race for me tomorrow but this circuit has some good overtaking opportunities, so I have to be positive for tomorrow and try my best."

Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"What an exciting session! It was great to see so many people in with a chance for pole - us included. It was a shame for Takuma as he was obviously on an extremely quick lap but Jenson has done an excellent job. We can look forward to the race with confidence."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams