Jenson Button will spearhead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's challenge in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix after posting the fifth fastest lap time in final qualifying. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve just missed out on a top-10 grid slot to qualify...
Jenson Button will spearhead Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda's challenge in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix after posting the fifth fastest lap time in final qualifying. His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve just missed out on a top-10 grid slot to qualify 11th, which means that the two B*A*R cars will start the race from the third and sixth rows of the grid respectively.
Weather conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya remained warm and sunny as the qualifying hour got underway. Villeneuve was ninth in line to leave the pit lane to start his qualifying run, while Button emerged slightly later in the session in 16th place.
The Canadian opted for the T-car chassis for both free practice and qualifying, having struggled with his race car set-up during yesterday's running. He had an 'off' at the close of this morning's session after developing oversteer and his car sustained substantial damage to the rear. However, race preparation was not affected as the team fits a race specification engine and rear end prior to final qualifying.
"I'm really pleased with fifth today. It felt like a quick lap but I did make a couple of mistakes. I pushed a bit too hard in some of the corners and got a bit of oversteer, but it's nothing that can't be sorted out for tomorrow. It's been a very positive weekend so far. We've made solid progress towards the race and that's shown itself in qualifying today. I think our strategy is the right way to go so I hope we can turn that into a good result for the team tomorrow."
"It was a good clean lap; nothing special but I'm quite happy. Compared with yesterday, our two cars are a lot closer together considering our respective strategies. We were a little bit lost yesterday and the car was undriveable, but we've been able to work on that for today. I'm happy with our strategy and Jenson's lap showed that we have a good set-up going into the race. We're looking strong compared to other Bridgestone runners."
David Richards, Team Principal:
"Both drivers can feel very satisfied with their grid positions given that they each intend to take a different strategy for the race tomorrow. It is encouraging for the entire team to see the steady progress we've been making since the start of the season."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director:
"We had a good problem-free morning and were able to concentrate on getting a good compromise set-up between new and old tyres and between a single lap and long runs. Jacques started the day with the T-car chassis and we were able to make good progress towards improving his set-up, despite him going off towards the end of the morning session. We enjoyed a solid qualifying performance from both drivers and we go into tomorrow's race confident that we will be racing for points."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"Qualifying on the third and sixth rows gives us a good chance to score some more points. Overall the weekend has been encouraging for us so I'm quite positive about tomorrow and I'm sure both drivers will have a strong race."
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-3
Lap time: 1:19.563
Chassis: BAR Honda 005-4
T-car: BAR Honda 005-2
Lap time: 1:18.704