Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve face a tough challenge in tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix after disappointing performances at the Hungaroring in this afternoon's decisive qualifying session. Jenson posted the...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve face a tough challenge in tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix after disappointing performances at the Hungaroring in this afternoon's decisive qualifying session. Jenson posted the 14th fastest time, while Jacques Villeneuve finished 16th, placing them on the seventh and eight rows of the grid for the start of the race.
Intense heat greeted the drivers again today as the track temperature soared to a high of 45°C whilst the ambient temperature peaked at 32°C. More of the same conditions are expected tomorrow, and with both drivers starting off-line on the dusty side of the track, the race is expected to be a tough task from start to finish.
"My lap was a little too messy I'm afraid so I'm not too happy. We made some set-up changes since warm-up but realistically I think I was pushing a little too hard and made a few mistakes. At the exit of the first corner I tried to get on the power as soon as I could but it just caused oversteer. In a few other places also I just wasn't as smooth as I could have been. I'm comfortable with our strategy for tomorrow but we really didn't want to be this far back on the grid. We have to just hope that the car can conserve the tyres so they don't go off as quickly."
"It's a very difficult circuit to drive anyway but it's very dusty and the car is bouncing around all over the place. With fuel on board and the intense heat, tomorrow is going to be very demanding physically. We've demonstrated that we are quite good at fighting when we lose out on grid placings, but we have to take a hard look at what we can do to fight for something more tomorrow."
"The car was much better today and the first two sectors of my lap were good, but we didn't manage to keep the front tyres working until the end of the lap so the last sector was really poor. For the last four corners there was no front grip and that's where we lost all the time. It should be better for us in the race; the tyres will take five laps or so to clean up and start working but after that the car should be quick. It's still going to be a tough race though."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"We came here expecting to face a tough task and unfortunately today's qualifying performance has rather proven the point. The race tomorrow will test everybody's stamina and in this respect I feel confident that the car and our drivers are up to the challenge, although starting on the dirty side of the grid will not make their life very easy. Track temperatures are expected to be in the mid-forties, therefore tyre endurance and general reliability will be critical factors. On the face of it, challenging for points looks a tall order but we've proven before that we make the most of opportunities."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Our day started reasonably well and we were expecting a stronger performance in qualifying after better practice sessions than yesterday. There is no denying that this is a poor qualifying result for the team. We have found a good balance on old tyres but are struggling to get the car to work consistently in each sector for one lap. Jenson lost nearly four tenths in the middle sector as a result of errors and, like Jacques, suffered from far too much understeer in the last sector. We have had excellent reliability from car and engine so far and we know we will be stronger in the race, but we will be starting from the dirty side of the track so it will be a difficult."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Starting from 14th and 16th on the grid is going to be tough. However, I know Jacques and Jenson will push hard in the race - we must take every opportunity to pick up some more points."
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-6
Lap time: 1:24.100
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Lap time: 1:23.8 47