Hungarian GP: BAR Friday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 13th and 14th in today's opening qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. It was a disappointing start to a typically challenging weekend at the ...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 13th and 14th in today's opening qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. It was a disappointing start to a typically challenging weekend at the Hungaroring, where temperatures tend to soar and the track remains dusty and slippery throughout the weekend.

The track temperature reached 43°C as Jenson left the garage ninth in line for his flying lap in respect of his championship standing. He was followed by Jacques in 15th place. Their placings today determine their positions for the start of tomorrow's final qualifying session, for which Jacques will leave the garage seventh in line and Jenson right behind him as the eighth car on track.

Jenson Button:

"That was a very bad qualifying for me. We changed some settings following practice this morning and it worked against us. We switched to a lot less traction control for the session and the result was no rear grip and a lot of oversteer, as you could see in the slide through the first corner. I've lost a lot of time and we've made things harder for ourselves tomorrow, but at least we know which direction we have to go in from here. The track, as always, is very dusty and it doesn't tend to improve a great deal as the weekend progresses, so it's going to be tough but we can definitely improve from here. Following the track changes it will be interesting to see if are any more overtaking possibilities."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"That was not a very good lap. I didn't manage to keep the front tyres working for the last three corners of the lap but then I couldn't get the rear tyres to work for the first part of the lap, so I think we are going to find it difficult to make the car work for a full lap in qualifying. It was important not to make mistakes today because the first few cars tomorrow will have a slow and slippery track. It's a very dirty circuit and the balance changed quite a lot from this morning but that's life. In terms of the changes they've made to the circuit I like the last part of the track but in my opinion the first section was better to drive before. I think the changes should make the circuit better for overtaking opportunities though."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"A very difficult qualifying session in which both drivers were unhappy with the balance of their cars. We always expected this to be a difficult circuit for us and we have come prepared with a range of options which we will work through during tomorrow's sessions in order to find the optimum set-up. Nevertheless, we can't avoid the fact that there is a lot of work to be done ahead of final qualifying."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"We have struggled all day to generate good grip, particularly dealing with the differing characteristics of the front and rear tyres in order to get one good lap on new rubber. Jenson found that, despite the set-up changes we made from the morning in anticipation of higher track temperatures, the car still had a big oversteer balance and although we had also made some traction control changes, these did not prove beneficial. Jacques had a better balanced car, although again suffering from low grip. Clearly we are disappointed with the performance this afternoon and know that we have a lot of work to do before tomorrow's running."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Developmen:

"Once again the times are pretty close today and the increasing track temperature made for an interesting session. Our guys definitely could have finished higher and I think we'll be up there tomorrow which is when it really counts."

Jacques Villeneuve
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-6
Position: 14th
Lap time: 1:24.333

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Position: 13th
Lap time: 1:24.313

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto