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Formula One World Championship 2006
Round 05: European GP
- May 7, 2006
Five Star Rubens
Honda Racing F1 Team
The European Grand Prix was a race of mixed fortunes for the Honda Racing F1 Team. Rubens Barrichello drove a tenacious race to finish in fifth place – his best result of the year – while Jenson Button retired at half distance.
- Jenson Button
- Rubens Barrichello
Jenson made the better start of the two drivers, jumping from sixth on the grid to fourth place after the first corner. Rubens dropped from fourth to seventh.
The Safety Car came out on lap two after the Toro Rosso of Tonio Liuzzi was left stranded on the track. When the race re-started one lap later, both Honda drivers maintained position.
Jenson then lost a place to a hard-charging Kimi Raikkonen on lap three, but he put in an impressive charge up to second place by the time of his first pitstop on lap 21. Jenson was stationary for 8.3s and rejoined the race in 10th place.
Rubens had pitted from seventh place a lap earlier than Jenson. He’d been stationary for 8.5s and rejoined the action in 15th place. During the middle section of the race, Jenson put in another charge through the field, until a suspected engine problem brought his race to a halt on lap 29.
Despite Jenson’s problems, Rubens couldn’t afford to slow down because he was involved in a fierce battle for fifth place in the latter stages. He withstood immense pressure from Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella and brought his car home 1.5s in front of Fisichella and behind the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen.
Honda F1 now has just three days to move all of its equipment to Barcelona in Spain for the next round of the World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix on 14 May.
- JENSON BUTTON
- "A disappointing end to a fairly tough weekend really. I got a strong start and ad a good tussle with Raikkonen through turns 1, 2 and 3 before I got ahead of him to take 4th. The car was inconsistent throughout the race. Some of it was down to the wind - it was quite gusty out there today - but the balance wasn’t there and it was changing corner to corner. In my second stint it was starting to come good as the fuel came down and I would have been happy to finish 5th with a car I wasn’t happy with and get four points. Instead, I had a big loss of power, the engine tightened and I lost drive so had to pull over. Let’s hope for better things in Spain."
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- "5th is not what we were hoping for but at the end of the day we didn’t have the pace. I was struggling with the balance of the car and it was just a case of surviving and doing the best we could. Because of that I’m pleased that we at least have some points but we have to hope for better things for Barcelona."
- GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
- "More points, however not as many as we were hoping for going into this afternoon. Rubens drove a good race, battling hard all day and especially at the end, to score his best finish for our team yet. Unfortunately we had an engine failure with Jenson and he was unable to capitalize on a good start and first half of the race. Generally speaking we lacked pace with both cars. With just one week before the next race in Spain we will not have the benefit of testing, however we will be analysing our performance this weekend in great detail with a view to finding some improvement going into the next round."
- SHUHEI NAKAMOTO, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development
- "Clearly a bit of a mixed day. It was good to see Rubens racing so hard and collecting some good points for the team. We will have to get to the bottom of the engine failure on Jenson's car as soon as we can - definitely in time for Barcelona."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
It was a disappointing end to the European Grand Prix for the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM as both SAF1 Team drivers failed to finish the race due to separate hydraulic issues. Takuma made an impressive start, however, when he jumped up nine places from his 21st grid position. Franck kept out of trouble during the usual first corner excitement and drove a solid race until his stop out on track on lap 32.
- Takuma Sato
- Franck Montagny
- TAKUMA SATO
- "It was a great race for me up until the last moment when I had to retire due to a hydraulic problem. It is a shame for the team who had worked so hard this weekend – I also really wanted to finish this race because we had been reliable for the first part of the season. The start was exciting for me as off the line was reasonably ok but I overtook quite a few cars at turn one, which was a good feeling. Unfortunately I then had a similar problem to the one I experienced on Saturday morning – the car’s straight-line speed got increasingly slower over the first five laps and I lost a number of the places that I had made up. For the rest of the race the car was handling reasonably well so it is disappointing not to have crossed the finish line, but at least the next grand prix is only a few days away, so I am looking forward to getting back to work in Barcelona."
- FRANCK MONTAGNY
- "It is disappointing not to have finished my first race with the team, but that is motor racing! The car’s handling was not too bad and I was having quite a reasonable race up until I suffered with a hydraulic problem. I would like to thank Aguri Suzuki for giving me this opportunity. It has been a good weekend and I have enjoyed working with the team, so hopefully I will be back in an SAF1 Team racing seat again."
- AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
- "This weekend has not been a successful one for SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM. Both cars retired with a mechanical problem so we will find out what was wrong and correct it for the next race. The performance of our car is lower than the others and we will struggle until we have the SA06, so we will have to keep working on the current car and continue to do our best."
Formula One World Championship
Round 05: European GP
||Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)|
||Fernando Alonso (Renault)|
||Felipe Massa (Ferrari)|
||Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)|
||Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1)|
||Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault)|
||Nico Rosberg (Williams)|
||Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber)|
||Jarno Trulli (Toyota)|
||Nick Heidfeld (Sauber)|
||Scott Speed (Torro Rosso)|
||Tiago Monteiro (MF1 Racing)|
||Christijan Albers (MF1 Racing)|
||Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)|
||Juan Pablo (Montoya McLaren)|
||Takuma Sato (Super Aguri F1)|
||Franck Montagny (Super Aguri F1)|
||Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1)|
||Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing)|
||Mark Webber (Williams)|
||David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing)|
||Vitantonio Liuzzi (Torro Rosso)|