Hungarian GP: Honda race notes

JORDAN HONDA DRIVER SCORES ANOTHER POINT Fisichella races to sixth place in Hungarian Grand Prix DHL Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella scored another point by finishing in sixth place in today's Hungarian Grand Prix while team-mate Takuma Sato...

Fisichella races to sixth place in Hungarian Grand Prix

DHL Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella scored another point by finishing in sixth place in today's Hungarian Grand Prix while team-mate Takuma Sato finished 10th. Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis crossed the line in 12th position while Jacques Villeneuve was forced out of the action on lap 20 due to a gearbox problem.

Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella made up one place at the start, overtaking the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya, and moving into fourth position. The Italian put in consistently quick laps and remained in fourth place until he came into the pits on lap 29 for his first of two scheduled stops, rejoining the action in 10th position behind Nick Heidfeld (Sauber). By the end of lap 35 the Jordan Honda driver was back up into fourth place behind Ralf Schumacher (Williams), as Jenson Button (Renault) spun out of the race and the first round of pit stops was completed.

On lap 51 Fisichella came in for his second pit stop and rejoined in ninth place behind Heidfeld. However, seven laps later he had gained three places and was up into sixth position, having been overtaking by the McLaren's of David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen as the second round of pit stops unfolded. The Italian continued to fight hard for the remainder of the race and went on to score another valuable point for himself and the team as he crossed the line in sixth place.

His Jordan Honda team-mate Takuma Sato held station off the grid in 14th position and by lap 24 he had made up three places to 11th, due to Villeneuve's retirement, Montoya's pit stop and Eddie Irvine parking his Jaguar. Sato came in for his first pit stop on lap 30, rejoining the action in 11th. Three laps later Olivier Panis pitted, moving Sato up into 10th place, before the Japanese driver stopped for a second time on lap 50, ultimately rejoining in 12th place behind Panis. Following the final round of pit stops, the Jordan Honda driver was up into 10th position, where he remained for the next 21 laps until he crossed the line in 10th place, having started from 14th on the grid.

B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis had a disastrous start where he lost seven places and was running in 19th position behind several slower cars, but due to the nature of the circuit he was unable to do anything about it until the first round of pit stops. By lap 33 as the first round of pit stops was completed, Panis had moved up into 12th position which he held until lap 50, when he gained another place as Sato pitted. Six laps later the Frenchman came into the pits for his second stop, rejoining and eventually finishing the race in 12th position.

His B.A.R Honda team-mate Jacques Villeneuve made up one spot off the grid and by the end of the first lap was lying in 12th position behind Coulthard. The Canadian pushed hard but his challenge was shortlived as he was forced to pull over with a gearbox problem on lap 20.

In hot and sunny conditions at the Hungaroring (31 degrees) Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello took the chequered flag, finishing ahead of team-mate Michael Schumacher and the Williams of Ralf Schumacher. The McLaren pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finished fourth and fifth while Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella completes the point scoring positions.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development

"A great drive from Giancarlo - he's been going well all weekend. Takuma also put in a good effort to finish 10th having started from 14th on the grid. It was a shame Olivier lost a few places at the start, but he too put in a solid performance this afternoon. The results are encouraging and we're happy that we didn't have any engine problems. We'll be continuing the fight for more points at the Belgian Grand Prix."

Giancarlo Fisichella Position: 6th

"I am pleased. I was quite confident today that we might score more points and possibly finish even higher than this, but unfortunately the McLarens were quicker and we lost a couple of positions. The hot conditions don't suit us so well and during the lapping stages, I was held up behind a Toyota and that lost me some time. Nevertheless, sixth is a great result and I'm really looking forward to the next race as it's at one of my favourite circuits."

Takuma Sato Position: 10th

"It was a good race for me, even though I wasn't able to score any points. It would always be difficult to do that, starting from 14th, and there was not much retirement with the frontrunners, so it was a strong race for us to get two cars in the top ten. The start was really exciting with three cars side by side into the first corner! Our pace is improving, so as long as we can deliver a strong qualifying performance at the next race, we stand a good chance of reaching our targets."

Olivier Panis Position: 12th

"Unfortunately, the start didn't work as I expected and I lost a few places. When I reached the first corner, the car in front of me braked heavily which forced me to do the same and I ended up on the dirty part of the track. Because of this, it was impossible for me to stop the other cars passing me and I got stuck behind slower cars. Due to the nature of this circuit, I had to wait for the first pitstops to get clear laps, but then my lap times were very quick and, in fact, I managed to post the 6th fastest lap of the race."

"After my second stop, the car was running OK but then, close to the end of the race, the team asked me to slow down because they were worried about an oil pressure problem and that's why Montoya pulled away from me. We're going to work very hard this week in order to solve the different problems we have encountered and generally make sure we are ready for Spa."

Jacques Villeneuve Position: DNF

"I got a good start and was running 12th on what would have been the right strategy. It was a typically hard race because of the heat and the nature of the Hungaroring circuit but I just kept pushing until, at the end of the pit straight, the car just seized with a transmission problem. It was too bad because the car was going much better in the race than it had been on Friday and Saturday. It's a disappointing end to a difficult weekend so I guess we just put it behind us and move on to the next one. Spa is one of my favourite races and one where we expect to do better than we have here in Hungary."


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