The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team had an eventful day in Malaysia following the decision to retire Takuma Sato from Sunday's Grand Prix after he was diagnosed with a viral infection. Third driver Anthony Davidson took over the wheel of car...
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team had an eventful day in Malaysia following the decision to retire Takuma Sato from Sunday's Grand Prix after he was diagnosed with a viral infection.
Third driver Anthony Davidson took over the wheel of car number 4 with effect from this morning's free practice sessions, completing 27 laps of crucial circuit acclimatisation in the searing heat and humidity of the Sepang Circuit.
Anthony went on to post the 15th fastest time in this afternoon's first qualifying session - a valiant performance considering the fact that he was the first driver out on the track and this was his first proper low fuel run in the B*A*R Honda 007.
Jenson Button experienced a frustrating morning after his engine had an oil leak as the third free practice session came to a close. He was forced to sit out the fourth session as the team worked furiously to fix the leak and avoid changing the engine, which would incur a 10-place penalty.
His lack of valuable running meant that he was unable to complete any new tyre runs, which made his 9th place commendable if not a true reflection of the potential pace of car or driver.
"The car felt good but I haven't had any running on new tyres today, which meant it was difficult to get a real feel for the car in qualifying set-up. We also had a problem with the engine this morning and I wasn't able to get out in second practice."
"Despite that, the lap was OK and I'm reasonably happy. I lost of a bit of time in the last sector but we're close enough to be able to get some of that back tomorrow. I'm sure we can do a better job in the morning and look forward to a more positive race."
"It's been a tough but exciting day for me. When I had the final confirmation that I would be driving this morning, I was packing my bags ready to go home! This is probably the toughest race challenge I've ever been faced with, and although I know the car very well, I'm still learning the track because I had limited running on the Friday here last year."
"It's always tough being the first car out and I wanted to take it a bit steady and keep the car on track. Overall I'm pleased with my performance under the circumstances and I'm confident that there's more to come in tomorrow's final qualifying run."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"We are reasonably pleased with our qualifying results, given the fact that Jenson lost the whole of the second practice session today while we sought to rectify an engine oil leak and Anthony stepped into the car at short notice with only two short sessions to adjust to the circuit and had the significant disadvantage of running first this afternoon."
"Both drivers are happy with the car set-up and clearly could have gone quicker this afternoon. The nature of the aggregate qualifying time will make it more of a challenge to improve our positions in Sunday's session but we are confident that the cars and tyres will work well in tomorrow's race."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"It's been a busy day! It's a shame for Taku that he had to pull out, but Anthony was able to get some good track time in free practice after being called into action this morning. Unfortunately we lost the second free practice session on Jenson's car with an engine oil leak."
"In the first qualifying run, Anthony had to deal with different circuit conditions from this morning, and Jenson's lap time suffered from having missed a session. We'll do our best to have a better second qualifying session tomorrow."
Chassis: BAR-Honda 007-04
Chassis: BAR-Honda 007-02