European GP: BAR race notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda notched up its 5th podium finish of the 2004 season today at team partner Honda's 40th anniversary race. Jenson Button finished third in the 60-lap European Grand Prix - a position which had seemed destined for team-mate...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda notched up its 5th podium finish of the 2004 season today at team partner Honda's 40th anniversary race. Jenson Button finished third in the 60-lap European Grand Prix - a position which had seemed destined for team-mate Takuma Sato until his race came to a premature end just 13 laps from the finish, denying him a maiden podium.

Takuma delivered an outstanding performance throughout the race, running third until he saw an opportunity to take second-placed Rubens Barrichello down the inside at turn one. The move didn't pay off and the two had a coming together, after which Takuma was forced to pit for a new nose and front wing. He rejoined the race but just one lap later he suffered an engine failure.

Jenson lost a place off the start and battled with traffic problems for the second race in succession. He was running fourth until Takuma's retirement promoted him to the podium.

Jenson Button

"Considering the problem I've had with grip throughout the weekend, 3rd place is a great result for me. Obviously this podium was slightly more lucky than the other four, but a podium nonetheless. It was a tough race and I had problems with traffic again. I had to get past David (Coulthard) because he was holding me up by 2 seconds a lap. Fortunately for me he made a mistake in the last corner and I was able to pass him on the outside - a little bit brave maybe, but it paid off. This was obviously Taku's shot at the podium but it is good that we have one trophy to celebrate Honda's 40th Anniversary Race."

Takuma Sato:

"I am extremely disappointed, ending the way I did with engine failure. Today the car was very strong and although I lost my position at the start, I regained it again at turn one. Throughout the race I was fighting all the time, and when I came out of my last pit stop on new tyres I had a lot of grip and felt confident that I could challenge Rubens in the Ferrari, but I saw the opportunity to get past Rubens but unfortunately we touched. At least I had a strong race, the pace of the car was good and it could have been a very good result for me. Now we have to look forward. I am expecting a good test at Silverstone and am looking forward to Montreal and Indianapolis."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"On a day when Honda celebrates its 40th Anniversary race, with one car on the podium and everyone sharing a glass of champagne, it was interesting to note a rather sombre atmosphere amongst the team at the end of the race. Everyone shared in Taku's disappointment at what was surely his first podium. But then Jenson has consolidated his third position, and so has the team, so not such a bad weekend after all."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"This was a tough race for the team with a mixed outcome. Takuma raced superbly from his front row position and with excellent pit stops and strategy, challenged throughout for second place. The incident with Barrichello shortly after the last stops necessitated an extra stop to change the front wing but we do not yet have any information for the cause of the engine failure."

"This weekend we were not able to take the race to Michael Schumacher who got away in the queue of cars behind Raikkonen. Jenson benefited from Takuma's retirement picking up a solid third. This gives us the 5th podium finish in 6 races but the failure to finish both cars is hurting us in the championship as Renault continue to pull away in 2nd."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Another bitter sweet day for us. We showed real strength today and seemed to be in a position to get a better result. Congratulations to Jenson for another podium and commiserations to Takuma. We must continue to challenge as hard as we can if we are to get the wins we want."

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Position: 3rd
Best lap time: 1:30.457

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-03
Position: DNF
Best lap time: 1:30.004

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