FRONT ROW GRID POSITION FOR JENSON BUTTON B.A.R Honda's Button and Sato qualify second and seventh in Monaco Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button put in an inspired performance around the streets of Monte Carlo this afternoon, qualifying his...
FRONT ROW GRID POSITION FOR JENSON BUTTON
B.A.R Honda's Button and Sato qualify second and seventh in Monaco
Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button put in an inspired performance around the streets of Monte Carlo this afternoon, qualifying his B.A.R Honda 006 on the front row of the grid to start tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix from second place. Team-mate Takuma Sato qualified seventh and will start the race from row four.
With no sign of the forecast rain showers, Monaco enjoyed perfect weather conditions today, the air temperature hovering around the 22 degree mark. Button, who clocked the fourth and sixth fastest times in the first and second morning sessions, was outstanding this afternoon. The B.A.R Honda star, who was on track towards the end of the qualifying hour, stormed around the street circuit to set a 1m14.396s, just four tenths of a second off pole sitter Jarno Trulli's Renault.
Even though Button's time was also 0.051s off Ralf Schumacher's best lap, the Williams driver will have to move back 10 places on the grid after his car's engine was changed prior to the session, so Button remains on the front row.
In the second morning free practice session Honda-powered Sato launched himself to P2 with just eight minutes remaining, recording a best time of 1m14.020s, and ending the morning third fastest. The Japanese driver, who took to the track 14th for his final qualifying run this afternoon, was looking good through sector one but locked up going into the Nouvell chicane and ended up seventh on the grid with a time of 1m14.827s.
Renault's Jarno Trulli will start tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix from pole position, a career-best qualifying position for the Italian, with B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button alongside him. Renault's Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher will line up in third and fourth place while McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), B*A*R Honda's Takuma Sato and McLaren's David Coulthard will start the race from fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place respectively.
Jenson Button Position: 2nd
"It feels great to be starting the Monaco Grand Prix from the front row. This is a race everyone wants to do well in and to be in with the best chance of winning, or even on the podium, you have to be on the front row - preferably with the competition behind you! That might be the case with Michael, but I am sandwiched between the Renaults, and as we've seen here today, they are looking solid at the moment. We expected to be strong here, but I was struggling a little with set-up this morning. Thankfully we were able to address this for the start of qualifying and the car felt so much better, although I was still unable to get the best out of sector two. I'm pretty happy with everything though. I love it here and I think we can do a good job tomorrow."
Takuma Sato Position: 7th
"It's a great shame because I was on a really good lap until I had a moment in sector two coming off the kerb. I wasn't able to pick up grip straight away so I locked up into the chicane after the tunnel. Everything locked up - the front and the rears and I lost a lot of time. This unsettled me in sector three also. I'm not very happy because I could have been closer to the front row today, but I have to be positive and rely on what I think will be a strong strategy for tomorrow's race."
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Getting onto the front row at Monaco is of course very important so I am very pleased with Jenson's lap today. Taku must be a little disappointed but he still starts the race in a competitive position and I am sure will fight hard to score points. The grand prix here always proves to be exciting and I'm looking forward to the race very much."