Italian GP: BAR Saturday qualifying notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix from the 3rd row of the grid in Monza after posting the 5th and 6th fastest laps in this afternoon's final qualifying session. After a strong ...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix from the 3rd row of the grid in Monza after posting the 5th and 6th fastest laps in this afternoon's final qualifying session.

After a strong performance in the final free practice session this morning, in which Jenson and Takuma were the 3rd and 5th fastest drivers respectively, conditions remained warm but overcast as the pre-qualifying and qualifying sessions got underway.

Jenson and Takuma emerged from the pitlane 17th and 18th respectively for their crucial qualifying laps. Both drivers were expecting to be a little closer to the front, however the times at the top of the table were exceptionally tight with just a tenth separating Jenson in 6th and the front row. The team are therefore optimistic that they can be in the thick of what is likely to be a very exciting race tomorrow.

Takuma Sato:

"This is not where we felt we could be on the grid here, but the close lap times at the front of the grid have shown that it was a very competitive qualifying session. I think we can be happy with our performance today and it's good that we have split the Renaults. We tested successfully here last week and the team have really progressed well through the weekend so far. I believe that we should have a strong strategy, and as a result, a good race here tomorrow."

Jenson Button:

"I had a good balance in pre-qualifying but when it came to the actual qualifying run, the car was very different. I had a lot of oversteer - some big snaps as soon as I got on the power at the exits, especially at the two Lesmos and Ascari. So it was pretty tough and quite disappointing, but I'm sure we can do something from there."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"A very solid performance from both drivers. With top six grid positions and our race strategy, we should be in contention for the podium tomorrow."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"Today's qualifying was particularly close with less than a second covering the top 10 places on the grid. It was a straightforward day and although we are mildly disappointed with the qualifying positions of both our cars, we are happy with the team's overall strong performance. We are confident that we have a good set-up for the race so we shall see how our race strategy unfolds. It is very important for us to finish both cars high up in the points in order to keep closing the gap to Renault."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"I am happy to have both drivers in the top six today and only being one tenth of a second from the front row should allow us to fight for a podium."

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-06
Position: 5th
Lap time: 1:20.715

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-05
Position: 6th
Lap time: 1:20.786

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto