The Honda Racing F1 Team drivers endured a difficult qualifying session in Sepang today with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ending the session in 15th and 19th positions respectively. Given the performance issues experienced here this ...
The Honda Racing F1 Team drivers endured a difficult qualifying session in Sepang today with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello ending the session in 15th and 19th positions respectively.
Given the performance issues experienced here this weekend, the team was realistic about the challenge of today's qualifying, but was disappointed that both cars were unable to make it through to Q2. A gearbox problem with Rubens' race car confined it to the garage at the start of the hour-long session, forcing a last-minute switch to the spare car, which was not set-up for him. Q1 was therefore an even bigger struggle than anticipated.
Jenson Button: 15th
"I'm obviously very frustrated. We know where we are at the moment and we're doing the best with what we have, but qualifying 15th is still difficult to accept. We made it through to Q2 but the car isn't good enough to get us through to the final session at the moment. It was unbelievable how much grip I lost towards the end of the second session. So we start from the second half of the grid and we'll have to see what the race brings, but this is always a tough race and tomorrow will be no exception."
Rubens Barrichello: 19th
"There is very little I can say, I am so disappointed. Given our current performance level, qualifying well was always going to be a struggle but to find myself where I am is so frustrating. Immediately before the session we had the problem with my race car so I had to switch to the spare car. That car wasn't set up for me, so in many ways it was like starting from the beginning again."
"At least by the end of free practice today my race car was well-balanced but obviously I wasn't able to benefit from the small improvement we had made with that car this morning which is very frustrating. Starting from the back of the grid tomorrow I can only see what opportunities arise in the race and that is the best we can expect."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director:
"Jenson's 15th place qualifying position is disappointing but unfortunately it reflects the current performance level of the car. Rubens' position is obviously even more frustrating and less reflective of the car's current capabilities."
"We found a gearbox problem on his race car shortly before the start of qualifying and we had to switch to the spare car, which is unfortunate as he had found a good balance this morning and this had put him closer to the pace of Jenson. Tomorrow will be a tough race and we now have to hope that the good work we did on Friday on race set-up can give us some possibilities to improve during the race."