HONDA DUO SIX AND SEVEN IN FRIDAY QUALIFYING Button and Villeneuve set sixth and seventh fastest times at San Marino Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button finished sixth fastest in today's first qualifying session for the San Marino Grand...
HONDA DUO SIX AND SEVEN IN FRIDAY QUALIFYING
Button and Villeneuve set sixth and seventh fastest times at San Marino
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button finished sixth fastest in today's first qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix while Jacques Villeneuve finished seventh, both drivers running with the latest spec Honda engine.
Button was also sixth fastest in this morning's free practice, setting a time of 1m22.669s while Villeneuve finished 18th with a time of 1m25.153s. The Canadian suffered gearbox failure half way through the session so was unable to improve on his initial time.
Villeneuve went out 11th to complete his one flying lap, half an hour into the session. The B*A*R Honda driver ran wide at Aqua Minerale, but was still quicker than the two McLarens, setting a fifth fastest time of 1m21.926s.
Button was out on track 12th, immediately after his team-mate. The Briton lost time in the second sector as Villeneuve had, but he recovered in the final sector and ended up three hundredths of a second quicker than the Canadian, gaining fifth position with a time of 1m21.891s. Both Honda-powered drivers ultimately finished sixth and seventh at the end of the session, having lost one place to Mark Webber.
For final qualifying tomorrow Villeneuve and Button will be out on track in 14th and 15th place respectively, as the drivers will start in reverse order of today's times.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher set a blistering lap of 1m20.628s around the 4.933km/3.065miles circuit, followed by team-mate Rubens Barrichello. The Williams pairing of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya finished third and fourth while Mark Webber (Jaguar) and B*A*R Honda's Jenson Button complete the top six.
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."
Jenson Button, Position: 6th
"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."
Jacques Villeneuve, Position: 7th
"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."