B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato will start tomorrow's 53-lap Italian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after a superb performance in this afternoon's decisive qualifying session. They will line up in 3rd and 4th positions ...
B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button and Takuma Sato will start tomorrow's 53-lap Italian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after a superb performance in this afternoon's decisive qualifying session. They will line up in 3rd and 4th positions respectively.
After a difficult Friday the team's engineers and drivers made a number of changes to the cars' set-up which resulted in a significant improvement through the morning and for qualifying.
Jenson and Takuma moved steadily up the timesheets in this morning's free practice sessions, with Takuma ending the morning as the 3rd fastest driver - a clear measure of the progress made overnight.
Jenson's lap was just 0.050 secs shy of Alonso's Renault, who will line up ahead of him in P2 tomorrow. However, that narrow margin does in fact play to Jenson's advantage as he will be starting from the cleaner side of the track affording him better traction off the grid.
Both drivers now look forward to a strong race tomorrow at the legendary Autodromo Nationale Monza where they finished in 3rd and 4th positions last year.
"I am pretty happy with that! After suffering with the set-up of the car a bit this morning, and having to slow up in the final free practice session because of the two yellow flags, I was a little disappointed before qualifying."
"Alonso and I were extremely close for 2nd, but 3rd here does have the advantage of being on the cleaner side of the track. It's nice to be near to the front on the grid again and hopefully we have a reasonably good strategy and pace so we can keep it there!"
"I enjoyed the lap and I'm very happy to be starting 4th tomorrow. I was very pleased with the car balance this morning when we were very consistent through the longer runs during free practice."
"We have a strong package now after making some changes since yesterday and I hope tomorrow we can repeat the success that we had here last year. Traditionally we always have a good race in Monza so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"Today was a much better day for us than yesterday and most of the credit for this great improvement should go to our engineers and drivers, who came up with a revised set-up which worked much better. Both Jenson and Taku did a great job in qualifying, producing two really good laps. Starting on the second row should bode well for us in the race."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"A good solid job. Both of the guys did really well on their qualy laps today - when it mattered most. I always enjoy the race here and I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-04
Position: 4th (will start 3rd)
Lap time: 1:21.369
Chassis: BAR Honda 007-05
Position: 5th (will start 4th)
Lap Time: 1:21.477