The Honda Racing F1 Team will start tomorrow's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany from the second and third rows of the grid after a strong performance in this afternoon's qualifying session. Rubens Barrichello will line-up in 4th position for the 59-lap race whilst his team-mate Jenson Button will start directly behind him after posting the 6th fastest lap.
Both drivers enjoyed a productive morning's free practice running, working on long run performance for the race. This afternoon, both drivers continued to battle against the low-grip conditions but the Honda Racing F1 Team were one of only three teams to get both drivers through the first two knock-out sessions and one of only two teams to end qualifying with both drivers in the top six.
Free Practice 3 Position: 13th
Session 1 9th
Session 3 - Final Position: 4th Lap Time: 1:30.754
"I'm very pleased with 4th place on the grid. It's another demonstration of how good the car and the team is and that we are making real progress. We now just have to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the race because I think we have a good strategy and we have shown good pace in free practice this morning. I'm looking forward to it."
Free Practice 3 Position: 7th
Session 1 4th
Session 2 8th
Session 3 - Final Position: 6th Lap Time: 1:30.940
"I couldn't get a good balance, which is pretty normal for me around here! The car just didn't feel good so I wasn't feeling comfortable. I locked up in turn one which didn't help my last lap time, but it didn't cost much; it probably wouldn't even have been a place. I think we showed this morning that our race pace is there and we found a nice balance for the long runs, so we'll just have to wait and see what the race brings."
DE FERRAN, SPORTING DIRECTOR
"Both drivers sailed through Q1 but Q2 was a bit tighter, especially for Jenson. As a result, we were forced to do two runs to make sure he got into Q3. Once that mission was accomplished, we focused on making sure traffic wasn't going to play a part in Jenson and Rubens' fast laps. Rubens did a great job in Q2 and carried that speed over to Q3 placing him well for the start. Jenson was less happy with his car during the whole of qualifying but still managed to end up in the top six. As usual it is difficult to say what strategy everyone is on, but we feel we are in a good position going into the race."
NAKAMOTO, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development
"We have had a good day - we improved the car throughout the morning and we did a good job in the qualifying session. Both drivers are well positioned to have a strong race tomorrow."