HONDA DUO JUST OUTSIDE TOP TEN IN MONZA Button and Villeneuve finish 11th and 13th in First Qualifying Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the 11th fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix...
HONDA DUO JUST OUTSIDE TOP TEN IN MONZA
Button and Villeneuve finish 11th and 13th in First Qualifying
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button set the 11th fastest time in today's first qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix while Jacques Villeneuve finished 13th.
Warm and sunny weather greeted the drivers this morning (air 23, track 34 degrees) for the first free practice session in Monza, the last European race of the season. The tension is mounting as the top three drivers are within just three points of each other and it is a close fight for fifth place in the constructors' championship.
B*A*R Honda's weekend got off to an encouraging start as Jenson Button set the seventh quickest time and completed 27 laps. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve completed 13 laps, finishing 16th overall at the end of the morning.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher kicked things off as he is leading the drivers' championship. The wind picked up but the sun continued to shine and the track temperature rose to 44 degrees. Button took to the track tenth in the running order for his one flying lap and set a time of 1m22.495s, finishing 11th overall.
Villeneuve was out on track 15th for his qualifying lap. The Canadian finished 13th overall, setting a time of 1m22.858s. For final qualifying tomorrow Villeneuve and Button will take to the track in eighth and tenth position respectively.
Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) set a fastest lap of 1m20.656s around the 5.793km/3.600 miles circuit, followed by the Ferrari pairing of Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. Cristiano Da Matta (Toyota) and Jaguar's Mark Webber finished fourth and fifth while Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) completes the top six positions.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Unfortunately we haven't managed to match the time we set this morning. However, we've got the potential to do well here and I'm looking forward to a challenging and rewarding weekend."
Jenson Button Position: 11th
"It was quite a good lap but I'm a little bit disappointed because I was quicker in free practice. There was a lot less grip out there this afternoon and I had quite a lot of understeer in the high speed corners. It's only Friday though and we're a little more optimistic for the rest of the weekend. There were quite a lot of fallen leaves and gusty winds out there today, so when the track picks up tomorrow we should be able to qualify in the top 10 quite easily. Last week in testing we found a tyre that is consistent and when all of those factors come together I'm sure we can do a lot better."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 13th
"Today is not a very satisfying day because we didn't complete our programme in free practice this morning due to an electrical problem. Because of that we weren't able to run in qualy spec, so this afternoon it was just a case of trying to complete a clean lap to leave us in a reasonable position for the start of final qualifying. Hopefully we will get a better day tomorrow without any problems and that should make all the difference."