HONDA DRIVER FINISHES 10TH IN HUNGARY Button races to 10th while Villeneuve is forced out of the action on lap 14 Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button crossed the line 10th at the Hungarian Grand Prix, having started from 14th on the grid ...
HONDA DRIVER FINISHES 10TH IN HUNGARY
Button races to 10th while Villeneuve is forced out of the action on lap 14
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button crossed the line 10th at the Hungarian Grand Prix, having started from 14th on the grid while team-mate Jacques Villeneuve retired from the race on lap 14 with a hydraulic problem.
The hot and sunny weather continued at the Hungaroring, the air and track temperatures reaching 28 and 47 degrees as the formation lap for the 70 lap race got underway.
Jenson Button fell back three places to 17th position at the start but the Briton put on a charge and was up into 15th place by lap 11, having overtaken Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Sauber) and Minardi's Jos Verstappen. Having made his way up into ninth position by lap 18, the B*A*R Honda driver pitted for his first of two scheduled stops, one of the last drivers to come in for fuel and tyres.
Button rejoined in 14th place and a few laps later reported a problem with the differential. By lap 34 he was running in 10th position, which is where he remained until his second and final pit stop on lap 44. The Briton rejoined in 11th place and moved back up to 10th when Frentzen ran out of fuel on lap 48. Despite the differential failure and an intermittent engine driveability problem, Button put in some competitive lap times but could not catch ninth placed Nick Heidfeld (Sauber) and went on to cross the line 10th, having started 14th on the grid.
Jacques Villeneuve got a great start, moving up to 10th place from 16th position on the grid. The Canadian pushed hard but was overtaken by Ralf Schumacher (Williams) on lap 11 and was forced to retire just three laps later with a hydraulic leak.
Renault's Fernando Alonso drove a stunning race to take his first F1 victory, followed by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and the Williams pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. McLaren's David Coulthard and Jaguar's Mark Webber finished fifth and sixth while Jarno Trulli (Renault) and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher took the final two point scoring positions.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Jenson did very well to finish 10th under the circumstances. He managed to put in competitive lap times throughout the race despite an intermittent engine driveability problem. Jacques made a great start and he was looking good so to be forced out of the action so early was really frustrating. We're now focusing all our efforts on the next test and race in Italy."
Jenson Button Position: 10th
"I got a pretty bad start and Jacques came flying past me, so there must have been a big difference in the launch starts we got. On top of that I didn't make the best of the second corner; I was round the outside and then Ralf spun off and I almost hit him. I finally got past Frentzen and Verstappen and then the car was working reasonably well and I was making good progress, but then I had a problem with the differential failing. This made the car very oversteery and difficult to drive so, all in all, not a great race. Obviously we now need to push very hard for points in the last three races."
Jacques Villeneuve DNF
"We knew we would be much better in race set-up - and we were. It went really well at the start and I was able to make up six places in the first lap, despite having a lot of fuel on board, so things were looking good for a point or two. The track was very dusty but my car was working well. We knew for a couple of laps that things were starting to go wrong and I had reports that I was losing hydraulic pressure. In the end I had no choice but to retire. It's not a good day but we just have to continue working hard. There are three races to go and, who knows, maybe we can get a good result by the end of the year."