Japanese GP Honda Saturday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a competitive qualifying session at Suzuka and both cars will line up in the top 10 on the grid for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella set an impressive lap of 1m33.830s to go ...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a competitive qualifying session at Suzuka and both cars will line up in the top 10 on the grid for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Giancarlo Fisichella set an impressive lap of 1m33.830s to go sixth fastest, while team-mate Jenson Button was just behind with a lap of 1m34.375s, which puts him ninth on the grid for tomorrow's race.

Giancarlo Fisichella
"A great qualifying session - the best of the year for both Jenson and myself. I must say that I was confident even before the start. It's a big satisfaction, especially as we had some problems yesterday that delayed today's programme.

"I ran with the new engine specification and the car had a very good balance," he added. "I am confident for tomorrow and I would like to thank the whole team for the effort everyone has put in."

Jenson Button
"This has definitely been a good day - our most successful qualifying effort this season.

"I wasn't terribly quick in the first sector but I was very good in the last two sectors. With the set-up we used today I had a little bit of understeer and it was difficult to find a perfect balance, but overall I think we are in good shape for tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Director of Engineering
"With a result like this I guess the season is finishing too early for us. Our hope for this year was to lay strong foundations for 2002 and I hope that we have done that today.

"With the large amount of running we have done on high fuel loads this weekend, I feel very confident for the race. Our tyres seem to be very competitive and we look forward to a good finish to this season tomorrow."

The 2001 Japanese Grand Prix gets underway at 1430hrs local time and 0630hrs BST.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button
Teams Benetton