Jenson Button ended the Japanese Grand Prix in a strong 4th position today, securing five points in the Honda Racing F1 Team's home race in front of a sell-out crowd at Suzuka. By contrast, team-mate Rubens Barrichello's race got off to ...
Jenson Button ended the Japanese Grand Prix in a strong 4th position today, securing five points in the Honda Racing F1 Team's home race in front of a sell-out crowd at Suzuka.
By contrast, team-mate Rubens Barrichello's race got off to a frustrating start after he damaged his front wing in the opening lap melee. He was forced to pit for a new nose and the unscheduled stop left him fighting his way through the backmarkers for the early part of the race. During the next two stints Rubens was able to show his pace and he went on to take the chequered flag in 12th place.
This result continues the team's run of consecutive points finishes with Jenson scoring his sixth in succession. Only Michael Schumacher has scored more points than Jenson since Hockenheim.
"I'm reasonably pleased with 4th place here today. We had a solid race and I think we did the best job possible given the fight going on for the Championship. We started a little better and I overtook a Renault off the line. The tyres came good and we were able to get past the Toyotas. Again, the team did an amazing job in the pitstops; we've been right up there since Hockenheim."
"We just haven't quite got enough to beat the two Championship contenders right now, but we will get there, trust me! I'm very sad that we won't be coming back to Suzuka next season because this feels like a home Grand Prix for me. For now though, it's nice to get another 4th place and pick up five more points for myself and the team."
"It was very unfortunate that I had another coming together with Heidfeld. He closed the door really fast and I had nowhere else to go so I locked wheels and tapped him. Sadly, I damaged the front wing. After that I was very fast but this is Suzuka where it's very difficult to overtake. A disappointing result for me in front of our home crowd but I still have my own home race in Brazil to look forward to and hopefully we can do better there and end the season on a high."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Jenson made a good start and gained one position before the first corner. Subsequently, when we saw some of our competitors stop early, we fuelled Jenson relatively long in the middle stint to beat them on both speed and strategy, which was very satisfying. Jenson drove a customary hard-charging and faultless race and once again extracted the best from the car. Unfortunately, Rubens damaged his front wing in the first corner and was playing catch-up from then on."
"We leave Suzuka happy to be in the points once again but also sad that we will not be returning next season to a track that has brought so much joy and many exciting moments over the years. Sadly, we have just one more stop before the end of the season. We have enjoyed the challenge so much this year that I wish we could just keep going."
Jenson Button: 4th
Fastest lap: 1:33.451
Rubens Barrichello: 12th
Fastest lap: 1:34.071