Warm and sunny weather prevailed as Jenson Button led the charge for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda in Barcelona today. He posted the fifth fastest lap in first qualifying for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, whilst team-mate Jacques Villeneuve was ...
Warm and sunny weather prevailed as Jenson Button led the charge for Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda in Barcelona today. He posted the fifth fastest lap in first qualifying for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, whilst team-mate Jacques Villeneuve was disappointed to be 12th at the end of the day after struggling to conquer a hard-to-handle car.
"I'm very pleased with fifth today. This morning I had a car that was a little bit too twitchy at the rear in the high-speed corners and I was worried that we wouldn't be able to get on top of that. We made some changes though and they seemed to do the trick, so I'm pleasantly surprised. It just felt like a very clean lap in which everything came together."
"A start like this gives you the confidence that the car is going to be stable for final qualifying and the race, so I'm very happy. We've had another small step up with the engine and aero here and these changes are gradually paying dividends. Things are looking good for the rest of the weekend so I'd like to think that top six is a possibility on Sunday."
"The car has been very hard to drive all day but it didn't feel like a particularly bad lap, so it's a little bit disappointing. On long runs we were quite competitive but we just don't seem to have been able to make new tyres work for us today. Jenson's time showed that the car is quick but we have some work to do this evening to understand why we haven't been able to get the best out of it today."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"We've spent a considerable amount of time testing at Barcelona during the winter and thus one expects to come here with a set-up that is pretty close to optimum. However, it is always surprising how much the track changes with temperature and use, which was certainly the case today. Jenson did an exceptional job with his lap and I'm quite certain that, with a further hour and a half of running tomorrow morning, Jacques will be on a similar pace for final qualifying."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"Barcelona is a good test of chassis and aerodynamic performance with quite changeable conditions. Despite testing here regularly we are still kept very busy finding the optimum set-up. Neither driver was happy this morning, though we were able to improve the car considerably for the high-speed corners."
"This afternoon, Jenson had a much better lap than Jacques, who was still not comfortable with the car. It is difficult to estimate where our true performance level lies since a number of teams will be running heavier fuel. However, we are reasonably happy going into tomorrow and we are in a good position to be in the points on Sunday."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Our drivers covered 52 laps between them this morning and we've had a trouble-free reliable day, which I'm very pleased about. Jenson put in a good lap this afternoon and set a competitive time which is encouraging for the rest of the weekend. I'm sure both guys are looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-2
Lap time: 1:18.461
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
Lap time: 1:17.613
T-car: BAR Honda 005-3