Chinese GP: Honda Friday practice notes

HONDA-POWERED DUO TOP TIME SHEETS ON FRIDAY AT SHANGHAI Davidson, Button and Sato finish first, second and 25th in free practice Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda third driver Anthony Davidson was the man to beat at the Shanghai International circuit ...

HONDA-POWERED DUO TOP TIME SHEETS ON FRIDAY AT SHANGHAI
Davidson, Button and Sato finish first, second and 25th in free practice

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda third driver Anthony Davidson was the man to beat at the Shanghai International circuit today, topping the time sheets in both Friday Free Practice sessions in preparation for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button was also on fine form, setting the second fastest time of the afternoon while Honda-powered team-mate Takuma Sato was not able to set a time in the afternoon session due to an engine failure.

Davidson put in a stunning performance today, setting the fastest time in the morning of 1m35.369s, and going on to better that in the afternoon by just over two seconds, remaining at the top of the time sheets with a 1m33.289s. The British driver covered an impressive 44 laps in total over both sessions.

Button, who also seemed to have no problems getting to grips with the 3.387miles/5.451km Shanghai circuit, completed 11 laps in the morning practice session and set the sixth fastest time. The B.A.R Honda star went on to record a 1m34.174s in the afternoon session, covering 19 laps and ending the afternoon in P2 behind Honda-powered Davidson.

It was not such a good day for team-mate Sato, who covered nine laps this morning and clocked the 16th fastest time of 1m37.438s. The B.A.R Honda driver's afternoon session was cut short when he suffered an engine failure just 10 minutes into the hour long session, ending the day 25th having been unable to set a time.

The weather remained fairly hot and sunny with a light breeze (air 27, track 36 degrees) as B.A.R Honda's Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button took P1 and P2 this afternoon, followed by the McLaren pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard. Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella and Williams' Ralf Schumacher will line up in fifth, sixth and seventh place while Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) ended the afternoon eighth.

Anthony Davidson Position: 1st

"It was a good day for us, and obviously I am really pleased to be fastest in both sessions. It's a good circuit and I got to grips with it quite quickly. Initially it was very dusty, so we had to work on the set-up to find more grip quite early on. Unfortunately, I had a high-speed spin on turn four at the beginning of the long run on my first set of tyres, so we had to quickly change our schedule slightly, but I am confident in our tyre choice for the race. We found a good balance in the car after that and so we are happy with our days' work today."

Jenson Button Position: 2nd

"I am reasonably happy with today's running and the work we have achieved for our race preparation. It's disappointing that we have been unable to get the information that we wanted from Taku's car or the tyre comparison from Anthony over the longer runs. However, the car seems to be working well here and I am enjoying the circuit. I think we'll have a very interesting race with some good overtaking opportunities. Despite the ups and downs of the day, I'm looking forward to hopefully extending our lead over Renault."

Takuma Sato Position: 25th

"It has been a very disappointing first day for me because we had an engine failure on the out-lap of the second session, which means I haven't had the opportunity to complete a timed lap and I will have to move back 10 places from my qualifying position tomorrow. On the positive side, the car is working well as far as we can see from the other two cars, which is very positive. Because this is a new track, we have lost crucial running time and we have a lot of work to do to prepare for tomorrow morning."

"Hopefully we can deliver a good qualifying position despite the penalty. The circuit was very dusty at the beginning of the day but towards the end it seems by the timesheets that everyone benefited as the grip level improved and the track rubbered-in. Our hosts have done a great job to provide this excellent facility and I certainly found the track very interesting."

Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Obviously a mixed day - our latest engine spec has helped us to P1 and 2 but we have suffered an engine failure on Takuma's car. We have looked competitive in both sessions so I am optimistic for tomorrow."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Anthony Davidson , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams