French GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Jenson Button will lead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's challenge in tomorrow's French Grand Prix after placing his B*A*R Honda 006 on the second row of the grid with the fourth fastest qualifying time. His team-mate Takuma Sato qualified seventh and...

Jenson Button will lead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's challenge in tomorrow's French Grand Prix after placing his B*A*R Honda 006 on the second row of the grid with the fourth fastest qualifying time. His team-mate Takuma Sato qualified seventh and will line up two rows behind Jenson.

Both drivers were targeting top three places going into the final session, so today's positions fall slightly below expectation. However, just 0.5 secs separates the top seven runners and with both drivers feeling encouraged by the B*A*R Honda 006 package this weekend, they are confident of a strong challenge off the line tomorrow to continue the fight for second in the Constructors' Championship.

Jenson Button:

"It was a reasonably good lap but I'm disappointed that we are outside the top three. I was struggling with oversteer prior to pre-qualifying so we made a change to the car. That didn't have the right effect during the first run so we changed again for qualifying and the balance was a lot better. The car has been working well here. Going into the race it's not 100% perfect but we are consistent and the tyres are working well, so I think we will be strong here. It was interesting to see that McLaren were so quick and with Renault up there I think everyone can look forward to an interesting race. For our part, we need both cars to finish and to score some good points if we are to continue taking the fight to Renault.""

Takuma Sato:

"We are a little disappointed not to have been slightly further up the grid but the gap between pole and myself is only 0.5 secs, so it was very close. I lost a bit of time on my lap but the team were able to record similar times with Jenson and myself. The conditions were very similar to this morning and we were generally strong with reasonable grip. I hope to have a strong race tomorrow; it should certainly be an exciting one!"

David Richards, Team Principal:

"Congratulations to Renault and Michelin on achieving pole position at their home Grand Prix. Tomorrow's grid has all the makings of an extremely exciting race, and I would go as far as to say that it has the potential to be one of the most unpredictable Grands Prix we have seen this season."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Today's qualifying was particularly close with less than 0.1 secs covering second to fifth places. We are happy with the qualifying pace of both our cars today; after the changeable weather conditions in yesterday's running, we have had more consistent conditions today and were able to complete our planned programme. We are confident that we have a good set-up for the race and it is very important for us to finish both cars high up in the points in order to keep closing the gap to Renault."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"Both drivers have done a very good job and produced clean laps. I think it will be an exciting race as the times at the front are incredibly close - Takuma, although in seventh, is only 0.25 secs from the front row."

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Position: 4th
Lap time: 1:13.995

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-03
Position: 7th
Lap time: 1:14.240

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