Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 6th and 7th respectively after today's first qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix. Jenson Button: "Things didn't go too well for me this morning;...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda drivers Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve ended the day 6th and 7th respectively after today's first qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix.
"Things didn't go too well for me this morning; the balance wasn't right and the car just didn't feel good. Then in qualifying it felt completely different; pretty good in fact. Because it was a different car though, it was hard to know where the limit was. I had a little oversteer and lost some time in the middle sector but generally I was quite pleased with the lap. We have the new specification engine for this race and although we need to continue to make progress, it's a good first step."
"I'm happy we got a good lap in but it's just a shame that, for the third race running, we didn't get a lot of laps in during the morning. We had a software problem during practice which affected the gearshift and that was the case again in qualy, so we weren't on the limit this afternoon. There's still time in the car but at least we managed to get a lap that puts us in a good position for final qualifying tomorrow."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"We came here with high expectations based upon our test here during the winter. It was therefore disappointing to lose track time with Jacques, and to spend most of the first session looking to get the balance right with Jenson's car. However, things have come together this afternoon and I'm happy with 6th and 7th, and to clearly be the second Bridgestone team. I think we're in good shape for tomorrow."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Jacques' running this morning was shortened by some gearbox damage, resulting from a procedural error with the software. Apart from this, the car and the latest step of engine have performed well. In this afternoon's warm weather, there doesn't appear to be a big difference in tyre performance. Both drivers underestimated the improvement in the track conditions this afternoon and clearly felt they could have been quicker. This is a good first qualifying result for us at a circuit where we were expecting to be strong and it means that we can now focus on the optimum strategy for the race. We are confident of a good result."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Not too bad but I'm not completely happy. Both drivers set lap times comfortably inside the top ten this afternoon, which puts us in a good position to fight for more points this weekend."
JacquesVilleneuve: BAR Honda 005-2
Best lap time: 1:21.926
Jenson Button: BAR Honda 005-4
Best lap time: 1:21.891