European GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato will start tomorrow's European Grand Prix from the front row of the grid for the first time in his F1 career after posting the second-fastest lap in today's final qualifying session. He will line up...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato will start tomorrow's European Grand Prix from the front row of the grid for the first time in his F1 career after posting the second-fastest lap in today's final qualifying session. He will line up alongside the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher as the first Japanese driver to start a Grand Prix from the front row.

Jenson Button had a disappointing qualifying lap after struggling with grip, but starts tomorrow's race from the third row of the grid in 5th position.

Takuma Sato:

"Qualifying on the front row of the grid is a fantastic result. I'm so excited! Qualifying third in Spain was a great moment but I just wanted to keep improving from there and this is the next step. I'm thrilled with my lap because it felt very clean. The track has been changing a lot but for me the conditions were similar to my pre-qualifying run so I knew that I had a good lap in my grasp."

"Michael's lap was stunning but I didn't let it affect me. I just got on with the job and everything went well. Today's result is special in many ways and this is the first time I have qualified on the front row of the grid which is fantastic for me. I really hope I can turn this into a strong podium finish in the race now but I will focus on enjoying today for now."

Jenson Button:

"I'm very disappointed with my lap because we could have done much better today. I came into the weekend expecting to make the front row but lack of grip has been a big problem and that was the case in qualifying. The track conditions have been quite changeable so we'll have to wait and see what tomorrow holds, but we have a good car and I'll be doing what I can to make the most of the overtaking opportunities."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"One can't help but share in Taku's excitement and all his fans in Japan will be thrilled to see him become the first Japanese driver to line up on the front row of a Formula One grid. Let's hope we see a similar start from him as we saw in Monaco!!! We need to understand how Jenson lost out on his potential for a far better grid position but I'm confident that he'll soon put today behind him and set his sights on another podium."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"The car has been working well here all weekend so we were confident of qualifying well today. Takuma drove a faultless lap to gain his first-ever front row grid position. Jenson was disappointed with his second run after being fastest this morning but a small mistake in sector one lost him several tenths as his tyres took a while to clean up. Given the closeness of the grid this dropped him to 5th place. With the strategy we have in place we are confident for tomorrow's race."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Good stuff! Both guys up towards the front will give us a chance to fight for the podium again tomorrow. Congratulations to Takuma for his first front row start."

Takuma Sato
Position: 2nd
Lap time: 1:28.986

Jenson Button
Position: 5th
Lap time: 1:29.245

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