Spanish GP Benetton Saturday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session on Saturday ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Traffic hampered Giancarlo Fisichella's progress, while late set-up changes meant Jenson Button could only complete three of...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session on Saturday ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Traffic hampered Giancarlo Fisichella's progress, while late set-up changes meant Jenson Button could only complete three of his four planned timed runs. As a result, Fisichella lines up for the race in 18th position on the grid, while Button will start in 21st, but the team are confident that its choice of tyre coupled with a strong strategy will benefit both drivers in the race.

The team's Technical Director Mike Gascoyne explained the session, saying:

"It was a difficult qualifying session for us. Giancarlo had two runs spoilt by traffic and was therefore unable to get a good clear lap, while unfortunately, Jenson wasn't able to get out in time for his last run meaning he was unable to better his position.

"So far this season we've been more competitive in the races than in qualifying," he continued. "We think we've chosen the right race tyre, so we look forward to having a stronger performance tomorrow."

His colleague Engineering Director Pat Symonds agreed, adding:

"It was very difficult to get a competitive lap time today. We opted to use the harder tyres because we felt that the difference in qualifying time would be relatively small and of course, this gives us some hope for tomorrow's race."

Giancarlo Fisichella said that he was not surprised by the afternoon's proceedings.

"We did expect this type of performance before coming to Barcelona, so it's not really surprising," he explained. "Having said that, I'm obviously disappointed but we are just doing what we can do with the car at the moment.

"The circuit was okay today," he added. "It was a little bit windy out there but that wasn't too bad and there weren't really any problems. "

His team-mate Jenson Button added that he had hoped to have done better, but was now just looking ahead to having a competitive race.

"Starting from where I am will make the race very difficult, but my main task now is to bring the car home and gather as much information as possible so that we can learn for the future.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," he added, "particularly as I wasn't able to complete my programme because we had a problem at the end of the session."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton