Spanish GP: Honda Saturday notes

HONDA TO START FROM ROW SIX IN BARCELONA Fisichella and Panis qualify 12th and 13th for Spanish Grand Prix Honda-powered driver Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) qualified on row six of the grid for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix. The Lucky...

Fisichella and Panis qualify 12th and 13th for Spanish Grand Prix

Honda-powered driver Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) qualified on row six of the grid for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix. The Lucky Strike B.A.R Hondas of Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve will line up in 13th and 16th positions respectively, separated by just four tenths of a second, while Takuma Sato qualified his Jordan Honda in 19th position.

All four Honda-powered drivers waited almost 20 minutes before taking to the track for qualifying. Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella completed four sets of three laps and set his best time of 1m18.291s on his final run, improving on his first timed lap by six tenths of a second and securing 12th place on the grid.

On his first lap out of the pits Olivier Panis (B.A.R Honda) span on the gravel that was left on the track by McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. The Frenchman completed a trouble free second run, but had to abort his third attempt at a flying lap when the yellow flags were brought out due to the Toyota of Allan McNish going off the track. Panis stayed out on track and went on to set his best lap of 1m18.472s on old tyres, improving on his initial time by two tenths of a second, which moved him up into 13th position.

His B.A.R Honda team-mate Jacques Villeneuve had four outings during the one-hour qualifying session. The session was stopped with 10 minutes to go due to debris on the track as the front wing came off Alex Yoong's Minardi. Four minutes later the session began again and Villeneuve returned to the track for his final run, setting his best time of 1m18.847s and moving into 16th position.

Jordan Honda's Takuma Sato completed four sets of three laps and suffered from traffic on his second outing. He went on to set his fastest time of 1m19.002s on his third run, improving on his initial best lap by seven tenths of a second and placing him in 19th position on the grid.

In cooler weather conditions (21 degrees) at the Circuit de Catalunya, Michael Schumacher snatched pole position from team-mate Rubens Barrichello. The Williams duo of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya will start from third and fourth positions with Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Jenson Button (Renault) completing the top six positions.

Shuhei Nakamoto Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development

"I am a little bit disappointed after our encouraging performance yesterday. We got as much as we could out of the engine and managed to run at higher revs without having any reliability issues. We clearly have a lot of work to do to optimise our performance tomorrow so that we get the best out of the package."

Giancarlo Fisichella Position: 12th

"I feel I got the best out of the car and although it's not that I am pleased with P12, under the circumstances it is not a bad result. We did a good job with the car as the balance was good. We need more downforce to help the grip levels tomorrow plus more power."

Olivier Panis Position: 13th

"I'm obviously disappointed with 13th position because it doesn't reflect all the good work the team have done over the weekend. I lost two of my four runs because of track incidents and the red flag, and losing so much track time didn't help me to find a better set-up. Having said that, I think we're definitely still moving in the right direction and I certainly feel much better with the car here. As ever, warm-up is going to be very important to prepare for the race, but I'm sure that if we can get back to where we were on Friday, we can expect a better race than I've had so far."

Jacques Villeneuve Position: 16th

"This has always been a good track for me and generally we've been quite competitive here, so I'm disappointed to have qualified 16th. We haven't been able to get my car working well all weekend. I seem to be running better on old tyres and Olivier seems to be better off on new. The engine has helped us a little bit but we've been struggling with a lack of grip in general. I'm not surprised to be worse off than Imola because we knew Spain would be tougher. 16th is a little worse than we expected though. I'm sure we'll be better off in the race tomorrow but we'll be relying on opportunities."

Takuma Sato Position: 19th

"All round a difficult session. Circumstances were difficult today and I found the car very nervous. I suffered from traffic on the second run in sector two which was frustrating as I was up on my previous lap time. I am sure we will find a better balance in the morning session which will put us in better shape for the race."


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan