Jenson Button finished the Japanese Grand Prix in 5th place today, but he was disappointed that he was unable to convert a P2 start into a podium finish. A gritty performance saw him grasp 2nd position for the middle stint of the race but a ...
Jenson Button finished the Japanese Grand Prix in 5th place today, but he was disappointed that he was unable to convert a P2 start into a podium finish. A gritty performance saw him grasp 2nd position for the middle stint of the race but a problematic pitstop and a lack of pace cost him two places in the final order. His team-mate, local hero Takuma Sato, endured a tumultuous race to finish a frustrating 13th in front of his home crowd.
Jenson had a difficult start and lost one place off the grid but he went on to engage in a strong battle with Fisichella. When the fuel flap failed to open at his first pitstop he lost over six seconds, which prevented him from maintaining the fight at the front of the pack.
Takuma ran wide at the first corner and was unable to avoid touching Barrichello as he tried to get back on track. He rejoined the race way down in 18th position and fought his way back through the field, but a further incident involved a coming together with Trulli which put the Italian out of the race.
Jenson Button: 5th
"I'm obviously very disappointed to finish 5th after starting from 2nd on the grid. I lost a place off the start but the early part of the race was looking good and I was able to keep pace with Fisichella. At my first stop the fuel flap failed to open and the crew had to do it manually, which lengthened my pitstop by over six seconds."
"After that we were struggling for pace and then I lost another position in the second stop. It's very frustrating from where we started and we have to do better in China."
Takuma Sato: 13th
"This is a very disappointing result for me after the incredible support that I have experienced here from the fans. The start was difficult and through the first corner I was side by side with Klien and ran wide. Rubens came from behind, ran off in front of me and we made contact, which damaged the front of my car and then both of us went into the gravel."
"We changed the strategy but it didn't work well for me and then I had the coming together with Trulli which was another blow to my race. I'm hugely disappointed for the myself, the fans, the team and Honda, but I will be back here racing at Suzuka."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"I must admit that we are disappointed with today's result, especially in front of so many Honda fans. Both cars generally lacked pace and we had several separate incidents that hampered our progress. It was a shame that Taku was unable to fight for points at his home Grand Prix, but the first turn incident made that virtually impossible."
"Jenson lost one position at the start and was having a good race until the first stop, when unfortunately the fuel flap did not open, losing him a lot of time. Our lack of pace after the first stop and losing an extra position in the pits meant that Jenson could only finish 5th."
"Obviously we were hoping to be quicker during the race and further analysis is necessary before we give our final verdict. We look forward to a better race in China."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"To be honest we have had a disappointing day and we have not managed to get the best out of the package. We only have one more race in the V10 era so have to do the best we can in China next week."