Takuma Sato and Giancarlo Fisichella qualified in 7th and 8th positions today in Suzuka, giving DHL Jordan Honda its best combined qualifying result of the season. Sato's mechanics replaced the entire rear end of his car in 27 minutes between this...
Takuma Sato and Giancarlo Fisichella qualified in 7th and 8th positions today in Suzuka, giving DHL Jordan Honda its best combined qualifying result of the season. Sato's mechanics replaced the entire rear end of his car in 27 minutes between this morning's practice sessions after his engine failed at the end of the first session, however the team lost little time and recovered well to complete his set-up programme in time for qualifying.
"I'm so happy. That was my best qualifying result all season and one of my best moments in a Formula One car. The team made a great recovery after a difficult morning with my engine problem. The mechanics did really well and James (Key), my engineer, did a brilliant job. The car was good, I was comfortable and drove exactly as I wanted to. I just nailed it! The fan support here is superb, they reacted as if I had won the race and it was just qualifying. Realistically the race is still going to be tough, but my target is to score points."
"It's very impressive. I wouldn't have expected us to be 7th and 8th so it's really good for the team. I'm happy for Takuma because it's his home Grand Prix and he did very well. Unfortunately on my last run the automatic downshift went completely mad and I couldn't improve my time. I think there was the possibility to be even better yet, but unfortunately that little problem happened. Anyway, it's been a good day."
GARY ANDERSON, DIRECTOR OF RACE AND TEST ENGINEERING
"The delay in the session after McNish's accident didn't seem to hurt anyone and we certainly managed to get going again. It was a very good effort from Takuma and nice to see him have a little bit of luck for a change, at his home Grand Prix. We didn't have any big problems although on his last run Giancarlo had trouble with the gearshift, which wasn't working correctly, and that lost him a little bit of time. Our target was to get both cars in the top ten and we've done better than that so we're very happy. All the cars we're dicing with in the Championship are behind us so it's all about the race. Anything can happen. It is good to see that Allan McNish is okay after such a huge accident, the FIA should be proud of the safety developments that they have put in place over the last few years."
P7 - 1.33.090
CHASSIS NUMBER: 4
P8 - 1.33.276
CHASSIS NUMBER: 6