Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button posted the third fastest lap in today's final qualifying session for the German Grand Prix but will be forced to line up 13th on the grid after yesterday's engine change relegated him by 10 places. Despite...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button posted the third fastest lap in today's final qualifying session for the German Grand Prix but will be forced to line up 13th on the grid after yesterday's engine change relegated him by 10 places. Despite a small mistake in the hairpin, he delivered a solid and otherwise faultless lap which was just 0.006s away from Juan Pablo Montoya's second fastest lap.
Takuma Sato will therefore lead the team's charge in tomorrow's race after qualifying ninth in today's crucial one-lap run. He will move up a place on the grid to eighth as a result of Jenson's relegation.
"I am quite pleased with my lap today and to qualify third is great, so it's very disappointing that I'll be lining up on the seventh row to start the race tomorrow. We have a very good car here and it is performing much better than in the last couple of races. The Michelin tyres are working well - not just on one lap but on the longer runs as well."
"13th place is on the clean side of track so although I will be starting with slower cars around me, at least I should be able to make good progress off the line. There are also some good overtaking opportunities here - turns two and four and also the back straight. So I'll do the best possible job from there and hope to pick up a good points finish."
"This was a very difficult qualifying session for me. I lost most of the morning practice sessions and the only lap that I was able to do was in pre-qualifying. I did everything I could in the final qualifying run in those circumstances. I couldn't risk anything but as I got further into the lap I was more confident and was picking up speed towards the end, so I think my lap was fairly strong."
"I'm not really satisfied because we came here with high expectations of a better performance than in the last few races. The car is definitely stronger and we have the potential to score some good points tomorrow, so I will be doing my best to achieve that target."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"It has certainly been an eventful weekend so far. Our car has been very quick both yesterday and today, but various unforeseen things have not made it easy to deliver our true potential for the grid. However, I believe that the measure of a great team is less a matter of how well you do in the good times, but more your ability to dig deep in times of adversity and come back fighting. I am confident that with our car's natural speed, Taku and Jenson will be putting on a good show tomorrow, and they will be racing hard to get a couple of good points finishes. It should be exciting to watch!"
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Given Jenson's engine change for today, our focus for him has been very much on race set-up since he will now be starting 13th on the grid. We made some effective changes to the car to give us very consistent behaviour on old tyres and were fastest in the second session this morning. Jenson continued his good work from this morning to qualify third fastest."
"Takuma's day was marred by an early error when he went off having touched a damp kerb and did quite a lot of damage to the right hand suspension. He went into qualifying with virtually no running and did a solid job to qualify ninth. The car is quick here so we are confident that we have the opportunity to score points with both cars tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It has been a difficult day but both of the drivers did a good job under the circumstances. Hockenheim always gives drivers the chance to overtake so I hope our strategy will prove to be the correct one."
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Lap time: 1:13.674
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-03
Lap time: 1:14.287