Malaysian GP: BAR race notes

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda took the fight to Ferrari and Williams today as Jenson Button delivered a simply outstanding performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix to finish third on the podium. Jenson triumphed in the most gruelling race of the season,...

Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda took the fight to Ferrari and Williams today as Jenson Button delivered a simply outstanding performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix to finish third on the podium. Jenson triumphed in the most gruelling race of the season, driving with grit and determination from the start of the 56-lap race to the long-awaited first podium finish of his F1 career.

Takuma Sato put in an equally gutsy drive from the back of the grid, working his way up to 11th by the end of the first lap then matching the pace of Michael Schumacher at the midpoint of the race to work his way into 8th, where he remained until his car suffered an engine failure just 3 laps from the end.

Jenson Button:

"There are no words to describe the feeling of your first podium and this one has been a long time coming. It's a fantastic result for the team in only our second race of the season and I'm delighted for everyone - the team, Honda and all our partners - because they have worked so hard for this. It was a tough race but so enjoyable because we were very competitive. Everyone has done a great job over the winter and made such a good step forward. This really is a sign that B*A*R has some very exciting times ahead."

Takuma Sato:

"Obviously it was extremely disappointing that we weren't able to finish the race with only three laps to go. The car was very strong and we had good race pace. Unlike many of the drivers, we chose a two-stop strategy but it was working very well. I had a very good start and was determined to make up places off the grid. I was up to 11th by the end of the first lap and then obviously I wanted to keep pushing because I knew a points finish was within my grasp.

Unfortunately I made a mistake at turn 6 at the time when the track was starting to get damp and as a result I went off. I was able to rejoin the race and I just put everything I had into getting back into the top 8. I concentrated hard on every lap and it was great to be racing with the Renault at the end. Despite the disappointment, I'm very happy for the team and we have shown today that there are some very exciting race performances to come from all of us."

David Richards, Team Principal:

"Jenson and the team have worked very hard for this result, and to get his first podium in a straight fight with the best in F1 is real proof of how far we have come. I am very disappointed for Takuma, as he has had a difficult weekend, but was on track to capitalise on his two-stop strategy with a points finish. It can't be long before he is joining Jenson in the points. For Honda, Michelin and all our partners this

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:

"This is an excellent result for the team - the first podium for the B*A*R-Honda-Michelin partnership. We put a difficult start to the weekend behind us and although we were disappointed with our qualifying performance we had confidence in our race pace, which was borne out today. The car and tyres worked well in the hot conditions and the drivers were able to race very competitively, their differing strategies both paying off. Today's result is a genuine reflection of how much we have improved and I think the whole team deserve to be feeling very proud of our performance today."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:

"It's a great feeling to be on the podium again. Jenson drove a brilliant race, and the whole team worked really well over this weekend to make it possible. It was a real shame we had an engine problem with Taku's car after he too showed excellent race pace and was running in a points-scoring position near the end. This is the first step, and we still have a lot of work to do, but it shows we are heading in the right direction."

Jenson Button
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-03
Position: 3rd
Best lap time: 1:34.967

Takuma Sato
Chassis: BAR Honda 006-01
Position: DNF (53)
Best lap time: 1:35.679

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , David Richards , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Ferrari , Williams