Following a frustrating qualifying session at Istanbul Park, the Honda Racing F1 Team will start tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix from the sixth and seventh rows of the grid. Rubens Barrichello will line up in 12th place and Jenson Button 13th, after...
Following a frustrating qualifying session at Istanbul Park, the Honda Racing F1 Team will start tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix from the sixth and seventh rows of the grid. Rubens Barrichello will line up in 12th place and Jenson Button 13th, after the pair set lap times less than 0.1s apart.
The weather conditions were slightly warmer for qualifying than they have been so far this weekend, which presented all of the teams with some balance issues. Rubens and Jenson completed two runs each during Q1 in an effort to hone the set-up of their cars. Q1 ran smoothly for the team and in the dying moments Rubens set a best time of 1:27.355s, which placed him 12th on the timesheets and safely through to Q2. Jenson was less than 0.1s slower than his team-mate, but two places further back.
In Q2, Rubens and Jenson completed two flying laps each and both drivers set their fastest times on their second runs. Rubens' best was a 1:27.219s, which placed him 12th - 0.4s shy of a place in Q3. Jenson switched from the option tyre to the prime to set his fastest time of 1:27.298s, placing him just behind his team-mate and on the clean side of the grid for tomorrow's 58-lap race.
Weather: Cool and cloudy
Temperatures: Air: 16-18C Track: 28-36C
Q. You were targeting a place in Q3 today. You must be disappointed?
A. "It was a good effort from everyone today however unfortunately we are not as fast as we thought we might be here in Turkey. It is a balance problem, rather than the tyres or grip levels, and I believe we achieved the best that we could today. I could not get the car to perform well over the whole lap. The first and second sector were good, but the third sector was not working for us. Realistically this is where the car is at the moment. We need another step to make us a regular qualifier into Q3."
Q. Summarise your qualifying session today?
A. "I have to be reasonably pleased with 13th as we were struggling to get the tyres working in qualifying today. Q1 was not too bad and we completed both runs on the prime tyre. We switched to the option for my first run in Q2 as everyone seemed to be going quicker on that tyre but for some reason the option didn't work for me and I had no grip. So we went back to the prime which should be about three-tenths slower around here so 13th is not too bad. It's annoying that we can't get the option to work but our prime tyre pace is very good, particularly over longer runs."
Q. Are you ruling out a points finish?
A. "It's a long way forward to get points from here but this is a tough circuit on engines so we'll see what happens. I've always had fun racing here as it's a great place to overtake so I'm looking forward to the race."
STEVE CLARK Head of Race & Test Engineering
Q. What issues did you face in qualifying today?
A. "The issues we had were with the tyres and trying to get grip from the prime or a balance on the option tyre. We saw this morning that the two tyres behaved differently and the two drivers split their strategy in Q1 because of this. In the second session neither car had the pace to get into the top ten. We had no problems aside from being able to get the most out of the tyres, so obviously this is a disappointment as we felt that we had made a little more progress here."
Q. What kind of race can we expect tomorrow?
A. "The race may be very interesting tomorrow. This is a very difficult track and many drivers have been running off the circuit so far in the event. With heavy fuel loads and worn tyres I expect to see quite a few mistakes and incidents. Both Jenson and Rubens are happier with their cars in race trim, and neither has had an off-track excursion so far. If we can have a tidy race with a consistent pace then we may still make it into the points. That is certainly the outcome we will be striving for."