German GP: Honda Friday qualifying notes

HONDA DRIVER 12TH FASTEST AT HOCKENHEIM Button and Villeneuve finish 12th and 19th in First Qualifying Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the ninth fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the German Grand Prix while ...

HONDA DRIVER 12TH FASTEST AT HOCKENHEIM
Button and Villeneuve finish 12th and 19th in First Qualifying

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the ninth fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the German Grand Prix while Jacques Villeneuve failed to set a time due to spinning off the track.

Warm and sunny conditions greeted the drivers for the first free practice session at Hockenheim this morning (air 26, track 31 degrees). Jenson Button completed 26 laps, setting a best time of 1m16.187s and finishing seventh at the end of the session. Jacques Villeneuve, who finished 12th overall, set a time of 1m16.945s and covered 24 laps.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher was first out of the pits onto the Hockenheimring as he is still leading the drivers' championship. The track temperature increased by six degrees and the weather remained fine and dry. Button took to the track 10th in the running order for his one flying lap, almost half way through the session. The Briton put in a good first sector but ran wide and lost a bit of time in the final sector, finishing 12th overall with a time of 1m15.754s, just three tenths off the ninth placed Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.

Villeneuve was out on track 14th but the Canadian failed to set a time as he spun off the track at turn one. For final qualifying tomorrow Villeneuve and Button will take to the track in second and ninth position respectively.

Ralf Schumacher set a fastest lap of 1m14.427s around the 4.574km/2.843 miles circuit, followed by Williams team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya and Renault's Jarno Trulli. Jaguar's Mark Webber and Renault's Fernando Alonso finished fourth and fifth while McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen completes the top six positions.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"The times are pretty close today which made for a very interesting qualifying session. Both our drivers pushed hard but tomorrow is when it really counts - it will certainly be interesting with Jacques going out second and Jenson later in the session."

Jenson Button Position: 12th

"It was a reasonable lap for me. I got a little too much oversteer in the first part of the stadium section - the left-hander hairpin - so I lost a bit of time there. I couldn't really do much more today but hopefully we can improve tomorrow. Compared to the Ferrari we're only three tenths away from Michael, but there's a bigger gap between ourselves and the Williams at the moment. Who knows though? A lot of people have been using a tyre that may be good for qualifying but possibly not so good for the race, so we'll have to wait and see how that pans out."

Jacques Villeneuve Position: 19th

"I went through the first corner a little bit too fast, but not by that much. We made some set-up changes after this morning's session and the effect was bigger than expected. I just went sideways and lost it. The car felt good until that point and suddenly the rear started sliding a bit but not a big snap. It wasn't something that took me by surprise, it happened very slowly. I think we have a good car balance and the car was good on old tyres this morning. It's better that we had this problem today rather than tomorrow but now we have a lot of work to do to get a good result in final qualifying."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams