Italian GP: Honda Saturday qualifying notes

B.A.R HONDA DUO SECURE THIRD ROW AT MONZA Sato and Button to start Italian GP from fifth and sixth on the grid Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button qualified their B.A.R Honda 006s in fifth and sixth place respectively at...

B.A.R HONDA DUO SECURE THIRD ROW AT MONZA
Sato and Button to start Italian GP from fifth and sixth on the grid

Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato and Jenson Button qualified their B.A.R Honda 006s in fifth and sixth place respectively at Monza this afternoon, to start tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix alongside each other on the third row.

Both Honda-powered drivers had an encouraging morning at Monza, covering 40 laps between them and finishing the second timed practice session in the top five.

Button finished fourth in pre-qualifying so was the 17th driver out on track for qualifying proper, taking to the track with 20 minutes of the session left to run. The Briton set a lap of 1m20.786s, finally qualifying his B.A.R Honda 006 in P6 on the third row.

Having set the third fastest time in pre-qualifying this afternoon, Sato was the 18th man on track for his final qualifying run, just after team-mate Button. The Japanese driver put in a neat and tidy lap, setting a time of 1m20.715s. Sato finally qualified fifth on the grid and will start tomorrow's race from the third row, alongside Button.

Conditions remained fine and dry (track 38, air 27 degrees) as Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) took the pole spot for the Italian Grand Prix, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. Renault's Fernando Alonso and the B.A.R Honda pairing of Takuma Sato and Jenson Button will line up fourth, fifth and sixth while Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Antonio Pizzonia (Williams) will start the race from seventh and eighth on the grid respectively.

Takuma Sato Position: 5th

"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 Position: 6th

"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 Lesmos and Ascari. So it was pretty tough and quite disappointing, but I'm sure we can do something from there."

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."

-honda-

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