Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda were back where they belong on the podium today after Jenson Button delivered a storming drive to second from his 13th place grid slot. Jenson was 'single-handedly' responsible for one of the most exciting races of the ...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda were back where they belong on the podium today after Jenson Button delivered a storming drive to second from his 13th place grid slot. Jenson was 'single-handedly' responsible for one of the most exciting races of the season, after he fought Fernando Alonso - and a loose helmet strap - to the chequered flag with one hand on the steering wheel and the other supporting his head.
B*A*R's combination of an excellent strategy, fantastic pitwork and sheer grit and determination from Button proved that the team are back with a vengeance as the season enters its final stages.
His team-mate Takuma Sato played his part in another solid two-car finish for the team, recovering from a 360° spin mid-way through the race to finish eighth, which brings the team's points haul at Hockenheim to nine.
B*A*R are now just nine points behind second-placed Renault in the Constructors' Championship with 76 points. Jenson retains third in the Drivers' championship with just 13 points separating him from second-placed Rubens Barrichello.
"This was without doubt the best race of my F1 career. I'm just so thrilled to finish second when I thought the best I could hope for was maybe fifth, at best. The car felt fantastic, the engine was great and the teamwork from the boys was incredible. I made a good start but had a terrible first lap and didn't gain anything, but then the team did a fantastic job in the first pitstop."
"I had a great fight with Fernando, who had incredible traction out of turn three where I was losing out to him, then on the straight I could get close to him again. I tried a few times to get past him and nothing seemed to work, but then I finally got him down the inside and held on to it."
"Towards the end of the race my helmet strap started to work loose and my helmet was lifting down the straights, which was pulling the strap tight against my throat and choking me. I had to drive one-handed most of the time! I'm really delighted for the team. We all really deserved this result before we take a well-earned break and I know we'll be back in Hungary giving everything we've got for the rest of the season."
"It was a good race in terms of achieving points for both cars, but I was extremely disappointed not to be able to score as many we wanted. It was a tough opening lap and unfortunately there was an incident at the hairpin that I had to avoid and so I lost a few places. During the race I also experienced two separate problems with the HANS device slipping out from under the shoulder strap, which meant a loss of support. It was a struggle to drive like that and I lost positions because of it."
"The second stint was exciting because I overtook quite a few cars and the car was working really well, but later in the race the balance was not as good and that was costing me lap time, which was disappointing. However, it is very encouraging to see the car return to pace and I am looking forward to Hungary."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"Well that really goes to show you must never give up! I think that Jenson's drive today will be remembered by millions around the world as a stunning example of simply brilliant racing. After a couple of disappointing races in France and Britain we have shown today that we certainly have the speed to match the pace of our competitors, and the championship table is now even stronger as a result. Whilst we all celebrate Jenson's drive today, it is also a direct reflection of all the hard work and dedication of the 400 people at B*A*R, and those at our partners Honda and Michelin around the world."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"This was a super race from Jenson and a fantastic result for the team, Honda and Michelin. The change to our strategy following our engine change penalty worked out well and Jenson was able to make considerable progress up the grid as a result of running long in the first stint. Once again we encountered traffic and an absence of blue flags that nearly spoilt the outcome, but in the end the team and Jenson earned a well-deserved second place."
"After some good overtaking manoeuvres earlier in the race, a mistake cost Takuma a place then he lost out to Pizzonia whilst lapping backmarkers. It was however good to finish two cars in the points and improve our Constructors' and Drivers' Championship positions."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"I am delighted with the performance of both the drivers and the team today but Jenson in particular drove a superb race. To have both cars in the points is a great boost for everyone as we go into the summer break."
Best lap time: 1:13.783
Best lap time: 1:14.585