Chinese GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Jenson Button will lead B*A*R Honda's attack in tomorrow's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix after posting the 3rd fastest time in this afternoon's final qualifying session. He will line up on the second row of the grid, behind the Ferrari of Rubens ...

Jenson Button will lead B*A*R Honda's attack in tomorrow's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix after posting the 3rd fastest time in this afternoon's final qualifying session. He will line up on the second row of the grid, behind the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Raikonnen's McLaren.

His team-mate Takuma Sato qualified 9th but his enforced engine change after yesterday's free practice means he is now relegated 10 places on the grid. With Gianmaria Bruni's failure to post a timed lap after spinning, Takuma now lines up 19th for the start of tomorrow's race, behind the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher

Jenson Button:

"I had a good lap so I'm pleased to be starting the race from the second row of the grid. I didn't have a great run in pre-qualifying; I had a few problems with the car but it was much better for qualifying. I don't think we could have got much more out of the car and I was particularly pleased with the last sector."

"The car is working very well and I think we have a good set-up and strategy for tomorrow. The important thing is that we have qualified well ahead of the Renaults which was our immediate target, so that gives us a good advantage off the line. Generally I'm looking forward to racing here for the first time tomorrow in what should be a very interesting Grand Prix."

Takuma Sato:

"It was a difficult day as we lost the whole of the second session yesterday, so I think that the team has done a really good job on all the requests for the set-up of the car. We have done the best that we could today and with a 10-position penalty we have had to work on our strategy to see how the best can be made of these difficult circumstances."

"Of course I am a little disappointed, but the circuit looks as though there will be some good overtaking opportunities, so overall I believe we should be in a strong position for the race tomorrow."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"It was an exciting qualifying session and indicates that the race may well have a few surprises in store tomorrow. With Jenson in 3rd place we are confident that he is going to have a strong race, and as our key goal is to beat Renault he just needs to keep an eye on Alonso on the third row."

"I am sure that we will see the different tyre characteristics leading to a divergence of race strategies, and we are very satisfied with the performance of the Michelins over a race distance. Taku's ten place penalty puts him at the back of the grid, but he is in good company with Michael Schumacher, and I think we can look forward to the pair of them carving their way through the slower cars. The stage is set for a fantastic inaugural Chinese Grand Prix."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Jenson was much happier with his car in final qualifying than he had been in the morning's running. Although the car had been working well on longer runs it had been difficult to find a good consistent balance on new tyres so we are pleased to be starting tomorrow's race from 3rd place."

"After his lack of running on Friday, Takuma had a hard job to catch up but was pleased with his first run in qualifying. He lost several tenths in the last sector of his final qualifying run that probably cost him four places. Clearly our focus this weekend must be our championship fight with Renault. We are confident with our car performance but we will need to work hard to help Takuma with his ten-place starting grid penalty."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Both drivers did decent laps and have given themselves the best chance they can for a good result. Unfortunately Takuma will have to start 19th because of the engine change yesterday but I want to target some points for him. Jenson, however, should be able to challenge for the podium."

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
3rd, 1:34.295

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-06
9th, 1:34.993

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Gianmaria Bruni , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , McLaren