Formula One World Championship 2005
A determined and well-judged race from Jenson Button gives him and B·A·R Honda their second podium position of the year.
Today’s Belgian Grand Prix was a race of mixed fortunes for the B·A·R Honda drivers. Jenson Button drove a sensational race to finish third, while Takuma Sato retired after 13 laps following a collision with reigning world champion Michael Schumacher.
Jenson’s third position marked his second podium finish of the year and his seventh consecutive points finish. At one point in the early stages he was down in 10th place, but he battled back up the order in an incident-packed race to finish just three seconds behind second placed finisher Fernando Alonso.
At the start, Jenson made a poor get-away and dropped from eighth on the grid to ninth into Turn 1. Takuma, on the other hand, made a great start from 10th to move up to seventh into Turn 1, and by the end of lap one both drivers had made up more ground to be nose-to-tail in sixth (Takuma) and seventh places.
In the early stages Jenson struggled with the handling of his B·A·R Honda 007 and dropped to ninth place by lap eight, after being passed by Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella. Then Fisichella crashed at Eau Rouge on lap 10, bringing out the Safety Car for a couple of laps and both B·A·R Honda drivers dived for the pitlane. Unfortunately, they both had to pit again at the end of the lap after wrongly selecting dry tyres in the damp conditions and put on intermediates again.
The Safety Car pitted at the end of lap 12 and straight afterwards Takuma made a mistake into Turn 1 and hit Michael Schumacher, taking both of them out of the race. Jenson, with the car more to his liking after the stops, drove a fantastic middle stint to move from 10th to fifth by the time of his last pitstop.
Jenson rejoined the race in sixth place, but that quickly became fifth when he overtook Mark Webber, and then fourth when he overtook Rubens Barrichello three laps later. Juan Pablo Montoya then crashed out of second place with just a couple of laps remaining, giving Jenson a welldeserved place on the podium, half a minute behind race winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Jenson’s six points today lift B·A·R Honda into sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
|1||K RAIKKONEN (McLaren)|
|2||F ALONSO (Renault)|
|3||J BUTTON (B·A·R Honda)|
|4||M WEBBER (Williams)|
|5||R BARRICHELLO (Ferrari)|
|6||J VILLENEUVE (Sauber)|
|7||R SCHUMACHER (Toyota)|
|8||T MONTEIRO (Jordan)|
|9||C KLIEN (RedBull)|
|10||F MASSA (Sauber)|
|11||N KARTHIKEYAN (Jordan)|
|12||C ALBERS (Minardi)|
|13||R DOORNBOS (Minardi)|
|14||JP MONTOYA (McLaren)|
|15||A PIZZONIA (Williams)|
|DNF||T SATO (B·A·R Honda)|