Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda ended today's European Grand Prix outside of the points after Jenson Button and Takuma Sato crossed the line in 10th and 12th places respectively. This was far from the comeback performance B*A*R Honda had been hoping...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda ended today's European Grand Prix outside of the points after Jenson Button and Takuma Sato crossed the line in 10th and 12th places respectively. This was far from the comeback performance B*A*R Honda had been hoping for, the 007 lacking the pace demonstrated in recent testing. The team now needs to understand the reasons for this.
Takuma's race was compromised by the melée in the first corner, which actually promoted Jenson and Taku to 8th and 9th places after several cars left the circuit. Massa, who was running ahead of Taku, was forced sideways and slowed on the exit, which made a coming together with Sato unavoidable. He lost part of his front wing on impact and was forced to pit for a nose change.
Jenson's balance veered between oversteer and understeer which conspired to make his race a battle from start to finish. Nonetheless, both Jenson and Takuma were pleased to have moved further up the qualifying order for the next race in Canada, by which time the team hopes to have resolved its performance issues in a double test next week at Silverstone and Monza.
"We thought that we would be reasonably strong here, so today's race has taken us by surprise. We had a lot of oversteer in the car but also in turn-in we had huge amounts of understeer, so I don't understand what was going on really. I struggled a lot, but at least we made enough progress to move a bit further up the grid for Canada."
"We have a few new aero parts coming for the next race so that will help us there I'm sure. We have a lot of work to do in testing next week and hopefully we will be able to make a bit more of an impact on the grid in Montreal."
"We are pleased that we have come back and shown that we have a reliable package and I really appreciate all of the hard work by everyone in the team and at Honda to get us back racing this weekend."
"After gaining a few positions braking into turn one, one of the two cars involved in the accident in front of me spun sideways and stopped, and so I unavoidably damaged the front wing. After that we came back with relatively good pace, but we now need to find more speed during our test next week for the races in Canada and Indy."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"Unfortunately this has been a disappointing day for us as our speed in testing clearly has not translated into good race pace this Sunday. Basically, our car just wasn't fast enough. At this stage we do not fully understand why, but we will investigate this during tests at Monza and Silverstone this week. We clearly need to find a solution before we leave for the races in North America."
"On the positive side, both cars finished reliably, with the Honda engines passing the test of surviving two race weekends with flying colours, despite lying dormant for the five weeks since Imola. We will also have a better position in the qualifying line-up for Canada."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"No reliability problems with the engine, but we're disappointed not to have produced a points-winning performance here. We will continue pushing forward with our development programme at Monza and Silverstone this week, and expect to be in better shape for Canada and the USA."
Best Lap Time: 1:31.955
Best Lap Time: 1:31.889