The Honda Racing F1 Team's Rubens Barrichello will line up on the 4th row of the grid for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix after posting the 7th fastest lap in this afternoon's thrilling qualifying session. He was forced to back off on his final...
The Honda Racing F1 Team's Rubens Barrichello will line up on the 4th row of the grid for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix after posting the 7th fastest lap in this afternoon's thrilling qualifying session. He was forced to back off on his final flying lap, due to yellow flags for Michael Schumacher, when he would have set an even more competitive time, but remains satisfied with his days work.
This was the first time that the challenging Monaco street circuit had played host to the new shoot-out format and its tight twists and turns intensified the frenetic pace and drama of the crucial qualifying hour. As a result, Jenson Button, who has made it through to the final session in each of the last six races, was the surprise casualty after struggling with understeer when he switched to new tyres. He was knocked out in session two and will start the 78-lap race from the 7th row of the grid in 14th position.
"The balance of the car was reasonable on old tyres but I had an unexpected amount of understeer when we switched to new tyres. I was quicker on old tyres than new. Right now we don't know why so we will have to look at the data but everyone knows that qualifying well here is crucial for the race and I'm obviously extremely frustrated to be starting so far back here for a race I felt confident we could do well in."
"It was crazy out there, just like everybody predicted. I was trying very hard to avoid getting in other people's way and they were doing the same for me, which was nice to see. I want to thank the team for a fantastic job today and making the right decisions and quickly. 7th is not a bad place to start tomorrow and it should be an incredible race."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"On the one hand we are quite happy about the way Rubens' qualifying went. There were some anxious moments at the end of Q2 and once into the last ten Rubens got everything possible out of the car. Unfortunately Jenson was not able to break into Q3. Things were going reasonably well for him but he ended with an unexpected amount of understeer on new tyres."
"We suspect there are quite varied strategies going into tomorrow, even more so than with other races. Given the importance of qualifying here we would rather be further ahead on the grid, particularly in Jenson's case. Nevertheless we look forward to a good fight tomorrow afternoon when hopefully we can collect some good points."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development:
"A difficult day for us with one car in the top ten and one outside. The Grand Prix in Monaco has a history of exciting and unpredictable races so I hope we will take full advantage of any chances that may come our way tomorrow."