Japanese GP: Honda Friday practice notes

RAIN HAMPERS FRIDAY FREE PRACTICE AT SUZUKA Sato, Davidson and Button finish eighth, ninth and 20th in wet free practice In this afternoon's free practice session at Suzuka circuit, which went ahead despite persistent heavy rain, Lucky Strike ...

RAIN HAMPERS FRIDAY FREE PRACTICE AT SUZUKA
Sato, Davidson and Button finish eighth, ninth and 20th in wet free practice

In this afternoon's free practice session at Suzuka circuit, which went ahead despite persistent heavy rain, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato set the eighth fastest time in preparation for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, followed by the team's third driver Anthony Davidson in ninth. Jenson Button finished the afternoon in 20th position.

Along with a handful of other drivers, Sato carried out his installation lap this morning as usual but decided not to spend any more time out on track in the wet conditions. He officially finished the morning 22nd. The B.A.R Honda driver covered six laps in the afternoon session on his way to recording the eighth fastest time of 1m49.370s.

Davidson, who finished 15th in the morning and completed four laps, went on to cover 12 laps in the afternoon session and clock the ninth fastest time of 1m49.598s on his first visit to Suzuka.

Button completed five laps in the morning practice session and set the fourth fastest time. The B.A.R Honda driver went on to complete three laps in the afternoon, setting a best time of 1m53.482s and ending the afternoon in 20th place.

This morning's heavy rain continued throughout the afternoon session and both track and air temperatures registered between 17-19 degrees as Ferrari's Michael Schumacher set the fastest time of the day, a 1m45.388s. The German was followed by Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello in second, third and fourth place. David Coulthard (McLaren) and the Jordan pairing of Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld finished fifth, sixth and seventh with B.A.R Honda's Takuma Sato rounding out the top eight.

Takuma Sato Position: 8th

"We could do nothing about the weather today but it meant the conditions were very difficult for everyone. It's frustrating and I feel so sorry for the fans that have been sitting here in the rain all day and have not seen much action from the cars. From a performance point of view, the heavy wet conditions meant that we had some issues with aquaplaning and the car was tricky to control."

"Despite the weather getting worse, we had to continue running in the second session to get as much information as possible. When you were following another car, you really couldn't see anything in front of you which can be very dangerous. Unfortunately if the weather continues, we will have no chance of qualifying tomorrow and I really hope that on Sunday we will see better weather to allow the race to go ahead."

Anthony Davidson Position: 9th

"The constant rain made life very difficult for everybody today. We weren't able to work through our planned programme at all and we were limited on laps because most of the time the circuit was undrivable as we were just aquaplaning. It is very disappointing for me not to have achieved any dry running on one of the best tracks in the world and be able to get a real feel for it. I think Jenson and Takuma's equally frustrating start to the weekend is likely to continue through to the race on Sunday."

Jenson Button Position: 20th

"The first session was very wet and the start of the second session was equally wet, but it was drivable. You wouldn't want to race or test in those conditions, given the choice, as we had quite a bit of aquaplaning but at least we could keep it on the track. As we got further into the second session though it was really wet, the circuit was drenched and it was very dangerous."

"There was no visibility; you couldn't see the car in front until you were one and a half car lengths behind. It looks like it will be just as bad tomorrow - if not worse - so I would definitely support a move to run qualifying on Sunday morning, when the rain is expected to ease up a little."

Shuhei Nakamoto -- Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development

"It was a real shame for the fans that running was so limited by the rain. We're just hoping the forecast typhoon will not disrupt the rest of the weekend's schedule too much."

-honda-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Anthony Davidson , Timo Glock , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Jordan