A double retirement in the French Grand Prix this afternoon completed a disappointing weekend for the Honda Racing F1 Team in Magny Cours. After a reasonable start to the race with both Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button making up a position off...
A double retirement in the French Grand Prix this afternoon completed a disappointing weekend for the Honda Racing F1 Team in Magny Cours. After a reasonable start to the race with both Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button making up a position off the start, the afternoon ultimately ended in retirement for both drivers.
A suspected engine problem brought Rubens' race to an early conclusion on lap 18. Team-mate Jenson moved up through the field to 11th, running well in free air and gaining two positions in his second and third stints, before a sudden loss of power led to his retirement on lap 61.
Jenson Button: DNF
"With the package that we had this weekend, we were doing a decent job today and were definitely going better in the race than in qualifying. I was up to 11th and catching up with Scott Speed in front of me and I think we could have got him. I felt a loss of power as I came onto the back straight and as I was changing up through the gears, the power just went. We'll have to see the data later to find out exactly what the problem was."
"It's really frustrating because although we were struggling in the first stint, we were much better in the second and third stints after the pit stops. The car is feeling reasonable and the balance is there, it's just a lack of overall speed. That comes from engine power and downforce, and that's what we're lacking at the moment, along with reliability. It's massively frustrating, not just for me, but the whole team who have worked so hard this weekend."
Rubens Barrichell: DNF
"It's difficult to know at the moment what the problem was but it looks like the engine because there was a lot of smoke and I lost all the power. We were hoping for a better pace in the race but the whole weekend has just not gone as planned which is very sad. I believe in this team and we will react to this. I am very concentrated and motivated, and I really believe that we will turn the corner. We have to keep our feet on the ground, keep our motivation high and keep working at it."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"This was a difficult weekend for us. Rubens had a failure early in the race, as did Jenson in the later stages, something we obviously will investigate and address. Jenson fought hard all day from his low grid position, maintaining an impressive rhythm throughout, with good strategy calls and clean fast stops gaining a couple of positions. Despite these positives, we come out of France disappointed on one hand, but on the other, we are even more determined to turn things around."