The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after posting the 2nd fastest time in today's action-packed qualifying session. After a solid morning of free practice running,...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after posting the 2nd fastest time in today's action-packed qualifying session. After a solid morning of free practice running, Jenson was happy with the set-up of his Honda and fired up for the crucial knock-out hour. He missed out on pole by just 0.1 sec.
On the opposite side of the garage, Rubens Barrichello has been uncomfortable with the set-up of his RA106 all weekend then suffered an engine problem in this morning's free practice. Faced with a ten place relegation, the team had nothing to lose and decided to switch to the T-car chassis with a fresh engine.
Rubens' early pace demonstrated that although he was happier with the new chassis it was not enough and he just missed out on session 3 qualification by 0.1 sec to end the day 12th. However, his engine change puts him further back on the grid.
"The team has done a fantastic job to get us on the front row of the grid and I have to thank them for that. Things were looking a lot less positive yesterday when we were really struggling to find a good set-up. A lot of hard work was done overnight and tomorrow looks promising, but let's wait and see. This is always a tough race but I'm certainly looking forward to it."
"This has been quite a difficult day for me. I was still unhappy with the set-up of the car in free practice then we encountered an engine problem and had to change."
"It was obviously very disappointing for me to know that I would lose 10 places on the grid but we also decided to change chassis to see if this would give us a better chance for the race. I'm starting from towards the back of the grid which means tomorrow will be tough but I'll give it my best shot and see what the race brings."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting director:
"We are delighted with Jenson's qualifying session; starting on the front row certainly bodes well for tomorrow. The performance was a real team effort as not only did Jenson do a stellar job behind the wheel but our engineers managed to improve the car tremendously from yesterday."
"Unfortunately Rubens had a difficult day. We had to change his engine prior to qualifying after a small problem developed in the late stages of free practice and we were unable to adapt the set-up of the car to his liking. We will continue to work hard with Rubens and believe he can still have a good race."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering director, Honda Racing Development:
"We had a tough day today but I am very pleased that we got Jenson on to the front row of the grid. I would like to thank the team for their hard work in making that possible."
"Regarding Rubens, he felt down on power at the end of this morning's free practice session. We located a problem and decided to change the engine, but we were obviously unable to work on the set-up before qualifying. We are very disappointed for Rubens but we will do our utmost to give both drivers the best possible chance in tomorrow's race."
Final qualifying position: tbc (penalty)
Lap time: 1:34.683
Final qualifying position: 2nd
Lap Time: 1:33.986