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Formula One World Championship 2006

Round 02: Malaysian GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
March 18, 2006

Honda Racing F1 Team

The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after posting the 2nd fastest time in today's action-packed qualifying session. After a solid morning of free practice running, Jenson was happy with the set-up of his Honda and fired up for the crucial knock-out hour. He missed out on pole by just 0.1 sec.

On the opposite side of the garage, Rubens Barrichello has been uncomfortable with the set-up of his RA106 all weekend then suffered an engine problem in this morning's free practice. Faced with a ten place relegation, the team had nothing to lose and decided to switch to the T-car chassis with a fresh engine. Rubens' early pace demonstrated that although he was happier with the new chassis it was not enough and he just missed out on session 3 qualification by 0.1 sec to end the day 12th. However, his engine change puts him further back on the grid.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Free Practice 3 Position: 4th Fastest lap time: 1:34.616
Session 1 4th Lap Time: 1:35.023
Session 2 1st Lap Time: 1:33.527
Session 3 - Final Position: 2nd Lap Time: 1:33.986

"The team has done a fantastic job to get us on the front row of the grid and I have to thank them for that. Things were looking a lot less positive yesterday when we were really struggling to find a good set-up. A lot of hard work was done overnight and tomorrow looks promising, but let's wait and see. This is always a tough race but I'm certainly looking forward to it."
Free Practice 3 Position: 15th Fastest lap time: 1:36.655
Session 1 14th Lap Time: 1:35.526
Session 2 - Final Position 12th Lap Time: 1:34.683
Session 3 Did not qualify

"This has been quite a difficult day for me. I was still unhappy with the set-up of the car in free practice then we encountered an engine problem and had to change. It was obviously very disappointing for me to know that I would lose 10 places on the grid but we also decided to change chassis to see if this would give us a better chance for the race. I'm starting from towards the back of the grid which means tomorrow will be tough but I'll give it my best shot and see what the race brings."
GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
"We are delighted with Jenson's qualifying session; starting on the front row certainly bodes well for tomorrow. The performance was a real team effort as not only did Jenson do a stellar job behind the wheel but our engineers managed to improve the car tremendously from yesterday. Unfortunately Rubens had a difficult day. We had to change his engine prior to qualifying after a small problem developed in the late stages of free practice and we were unable to adapt the set-up of the car to his liking. We will continue to work hard with Rubens and believe he can still have a good race."
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development
"We had a tough day today but I am very pleased that we got Jenson on to the front row of the grid. I would like to thank the team for their hard work in making that possible. Regarding Rubens, he felt down on power at the end of this morning's free practice session. We located a problem and decided to change the engine, but we were obviously unable to work on the set-up before qualifying. We are very disappointed for Rubens but we will do our utmost to give both drivers the best possible chance in tomorrow's race."


SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM drivers Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide will be starting the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix amongst the big guns in the sport. Honda engine reliability has ensured that both Taku and Yuji, although qualifying at the bottom of the table today, will be splitting some of the racing pairs from the Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Toyota and Honda Racing F1 teams when they arrive on the grid for the start of the race tomorrow.

Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Yuji Ide
Yuji Ide
FP 3-Position 21 Fastest Lap Time 1:38.821
QUALIFYING Grid Position 16 (tbc) Lap Time 1:39.011

"I believe that we did the best job we could today and I think that we achieved the car’s best performance. Unfortunately we are still struggling in the mid-sector due to understeer, but we are running reliably and will have both cars on the starting grid tomorrow which is great. This is a high down-force circuit so we knew that we would have a hard race in Sepang, but we shall do our best tomorrow and hopefully be able to bring our two cars home."
FP3 Position 22 Fastest Lap Time 1:40.542
QUALIFYING Grid Position 17 (tbc) Lap Time 1:40.720

"For qualifying the car ran better than it did this morning, but the balance is still not good enough. I went off the track during practice because I tried to push too much but during qualifying the handling of the car felt much better. It is hot but everybody is running in the same condition so it is not such a problem. I will talk to the engineers and see what we can do to improve the car’s pace and I hope that I will be able to do better tomorrow and get to the checkered flag. I am really looking forward to my second race here in Sepang."
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
"There hasn't been a big problem with the car so far, so I am relatively happy. We tried different set-ups this morning for qualifying and the race and we have a number of directions to decide upon tonight.
We still have a lot of small issues to solve however we are learning so much more about the car by fixing those issues. Our qualifying time is similar to that in Bahrain, but we have more data from the car, so I hope that we will do little better than the last race. Takuma has familiarised himself with the characteristics of the car and is handling it well. Yuji was running our new front wing this afternoon was trying to get the feel for it. He of course still has a lot to learn, but he is doing well and the team has been doing a great job."
Formula One World Championship
Round 02: Malaysian GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 G FISICHELLA (Renault)
2 J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)
3 N ROSBERG (Williams-Cosworth)
4 M SCHUMACHER (Ferrari)
5 M WEBBER (Williams-Cosworth)
6 JP MONTOYA (McLaren-Mercedes)
7 K RAIKKONEN (McLaren-Mercedes)
8 F ALONSO (Renault)
9 C KLIEN (RBR-Ferrari)
10 R SCHUMACHER (Toyota)
11 D COULTHARD (RBR-Ferrari)
12 R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)
13 J TRULLI (Toyota)
15 N HEIDFELD (Sauber-BMW)
16 F MASSA (Ferrari)
17 S SPEED (STR-Cosworth)
18 V LIUZZI (STR-Cosworth)
19 C ALBERS (MF1-Toyota)
20 T MONTEIRO (MF1-Toyota)

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