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Formula One World Championship 2005

Round 16: Belgium GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
September 11, 2005

Jenson's Podium at Spa

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 Button & Takuma Sato
Jenson Button & Takuma Sato
Jenson Button
Jenson Button

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.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
"It’s fantastic to be back on the podium and I have to thank the team for their incredibly hard work to get us back into the game here. The first stint of the race wasn’t easy. I had such bad oversteer I barely had to turn into the corners! At the first stop we adjusted the front wing which made things better but we were a little too optimistic in switching to drys so we had to come in again and change back to wets. Double stinting the tyres really made all the difference for us though. I have to thank the entire team and Michelin for making this result possible. The pitstops were great and the Honda engine was faultless all weekend. We have some new developments for the next few races so I’m feeling really positive. Let’s hope we have a few more days like today before the end of the season."
"It was very tricky at the beginning of the race, but I made a good first lap and gained many positions. It was an exciting first stint and things were going well up to the first stop. The incident with Michael happened on the first corner after the restart, following the safety car. With cold tyres and brakes, it was very difficult to stop the car and unfortunately, I touched the back of him. Obviously, I am disappointed that we could not deliver a good result today."
GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
"Exciting is probably a gross understatement to describe Jenson’s race today. To finish on the podium from where we were earlier on in the race was fantastic. After good starts by both drivers the strategy became quite complex during the first safety car period. At that point it is fair to say we underestimated how low the level of grip was and how long it would eventually take for the track conditions to improve enough for dry tyres. Having put drys on at our first stop, we came back in to fit wet tyres and fell to the back of the pack for the restart. Unfortunately for Taku, who was having a very good day, the race ended soon afterwards with the turn one incident. From that point on, all went well for us as Jenson drove a real stormer in the late stages and was the fastest man on the track for many laps. The crew did a fantastic job under a lot a pressure, executing many pit stops perfectly in close succession. It is always good to go into the next race after a podium so onwards to Brazil!"
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
"Jenson drove another very good race for a hard-fought podium. After struggling at the start with oversteer, he got more comfortable with the car after a wing adjustment. It was a shame for Taku that he had an incident with Michael shortly after his tyre change. The new spec engine ran without any problems, and we’ll aim to keep up the momentum for the last three races."
Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Formula One World Championship
Round 16: Belgium GP
Rank Driver (Team)
2 F ALONSO (Renault)
3 J BUTTON (B·A·R Honda)
4 M WEBBER (Williams)
8 T MONTEIRO (Jordan)
9 C KLIEN (RedBull)
10 F MASSA (Sauber)
12 C ALBERS (Minardi)
13 R DOORNBOS (Minardi)
14 JP MONTOYA (McLaren)
15 A PIZZONIA (Williams)
DNF T SATO (B·A·R Honda)

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