HONDA TO START FROM SIXTH ROW IN MONACO Villeneuve qualifies 11th as Button misses session due to early accident Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in 11th place for tomorrow's grid of the Monaco Grand Prix to start the race...
HONDA TO START FROM SIXTH ROW IN MONACO
Villeneuve qualifies 11th as Button misses session due to early accident
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve qualified in 11th place for tomorrow's grid of the Monaco Grand Prix to start the race from the sixth row while team-mate Jenson Button did not take part in final qualifying due to his accident in this morning's free practice session.
The team issued the following statement about Jenson: "This morning, Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda driver Jenson Button crashed his car heavily during free practice for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix, when he touched the barrier under braking at the exit from the tunnel - the fastest point on the circuit (approximately 290 km/h).
He has been given a full medical at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, which included the usual precautionary X-rays and scans. The team are relieved to confirm that he has not sustained any physical injuries, however, he is suffering from slight nausea, which is understandable given the severity of the accident.
As a consequence, B*A*R has decided to withdraw Jenson from today's final qualifying session. The team will seek medical advice tomorrow morning as to whether he is fit to take part in the race."
The superb weather continued (air 26 degrees, track 35 degrees) as the final qualifying session got underway in the principality. Villeneuve took to the track ninth in the running order for his one flying lap as the drivers go out in reverse of Thursday's times. The Canadian recorded a lap of 1m16.755s, finally qualifying in 11th place after all the runs were completed.
Ralf Schumacher (Williams) secured pole position and will be joined on the front row by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren). Third and fourth place were taken by Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and Jarno Trulli (Renault) while Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and McLaren's David Coulthard will start from fifth and sixth position on the grid.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Most importantly we're all pleased that Jenson is okay after such a big shunt this morning and I hope he can race tomorrow. Jacques ran well in qualifying and we have shown how competitive we are this weekend so I'm confident of scoring some more points."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 11th
"First of all it's good news that Jenson is OK after his crash this morning. On my side, the weekend is shaping up a little bit like Barcelona; we started badly on the first day and then we've continued to improve throughout the weekend. We were able to do some good work with the tyres and we've ended up with a car that was competitive in qualifying and race trim, so the day went well. This was roughly where we expected to be given our strategy so I'm just looking forward to the race now."