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Formula One World Championship 2006
Round 07: Monaco GP
- May 28, 2006
Rubens Delivers His Best Yet
Honda Racing F1 Team
Rubens Barrichello finished a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix in fourth place. It was his best result of the year for the Honda Racing F1 Team, but it could have been even better had he not had a drive through penalty late in the race.
- Rubens Barrichello
- Jenson Button
Jenson Button, by contrast, endured a difficult afternoon. He never really recovered from his 13th position on the grid and he came home in 11th place.
At the start, Rubens converted his fifth position on the grid. He tucked in behind Juan Pablo Montoya and ahead of Jarno Trulli, and he drove consistently prior to his first – and only scheduled – pitstop of the race on lap 45.
Trulli pitted on the same lap as Rubens and the Honda Racing F1 Team pit crew did a fantastic stop to ensure their man stayed ahead.
Jenson drove a solid opening stint, but his pace was dictated by the slower cars ahead of him. At the start he dropped to 15th place and he had a good dice with Michael Schumacher, until the seven-time world champion passed him into the chicane on lap 20. Jenson made his only scheduled pitstop on lap 42.
On lap 48, the field closed up behind the Safety Car, which had been deployed because of Mark Webber’s stricken Williams on the exit of Sainte Devote. And it was behind the Safety Car that Kimi Raikkonen’s engine failed, so both Honda Racing F1 Team drivers gained two places in the space of two laps.
When the race re-started, Rubens looked set for third place until he was penalized for speeding in the pitlane and had to pit for his drive-through penalty. He dropped to fifth, but when Trulli retired on lap 74 he inherited fourth place, and by the checkered flag he was just one second behind third-placed David Coulthard.
The Honda Racing F1 Team now moves to Barcelona in Spain for a test session ahead of the British Grand Prix in two weeks time.
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- "4th is a good points finish and my best so far this season but I'm disappointed because I was looking good for 3rd today. It was a tough race and I didn't feel competitive at all. I was carrying a lot of fuel but I did a good job to keep pace because I was really struggling with the balance of the car. It was obviously a huge blow to be called in for the drive-through penalty because I was sure the limiter light was on. I'm really very upset for the team and for myself because it would have been an extra point, but more than that, my first podium of the year. The guys did a great job all weekend, especially for us to qualify well on such a lot of fuel and I thank them for that."
- JENSON BUTTON
- "After qualifying where we did yesterday, this was always going to be a struggle for me. I lost rear tyre grip and had to stop a lot earlier than I wanted to because of that. At the stop we put scrubbed tyres on and took a lot of front wing off. After that the car was doing okay. All in all, this was definitely a race to forget for me but at least we are taking away a lot of information. Even though Rubens was fourth today we certainly didn't get the best out of the car this weekend and we still have a lot of work to do to catch up with the front runners."
- GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
- "An extremely tough afternoon full of highs and lows. Both drivers were struggling with the balance of the car throughout the race, nevertheless due to Rubens' good grid position, he eventually found himself in a podium position. Of course we were devastated with Rubens' drive-through penalty, although 4th place is his best result with our team so far. Jenson was unable to recover from the low grid position, especially given the handling difficulties we were having."
- SHUHEI NAKAMOTO, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development
- "Rubens battled hard today and nearly achieved a podium finish for us. Monaco has always proved to be a tough race on the cars and engines and I am pleased we got both engines to the end of their second races."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
- Takuma Sato
- Franck Montagny
- TAKUMA SATO
- "I am very disappointed not to have finished the race. Up to my retirement I had enjoyed it immensely and although we did not make a great start, I had moved up a few positions and the car was running well. Our pitstop strategy and traffic control enabled me to make consistent runs and to push all the time. But suddenly we encountered an electrical issue and the speed dramatically dropped, so I came back to the pits and we made a setting change, but after one lap we suffered total failure and I had to retire from the race. It is a shame because the team has done such a great job this weekend and our progress has been very encouraging. I am also personally extremely disappointed not to have finished this Grand Prix, but that is motor racing and I will try again next year."
- FRANCK MONTAGNY
- "I am happy to have finished a Grand Prix for the first time and the fact that it is has been here in Monaco makes it a special race. I had a good fight with Monteiro for 40 laps, however I am sure that he will not say the same, but this is racing after all. The car was hard to drive but I still enjoyed it. On the positive side we have collected 70 laps of data, so I am happy about that. We can now work towards improving the car with this latest information for the next race."
- AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
- "All in all it was a very tough race for us. Takuma was doing well until he suffered with an electrical problem and Franck did a great job to finish his first race for the team. It is a difficult track and he said that the car was very hard to handle. We have not achieved our goal of another two-car finish once again, but I would like to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend."
Formula One World Championship
Round 07: Monaco GP
||Fernando Alonso (Renault)|
||Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren)|
||David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing)|
||Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1)|
||Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)|
||Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault)|
||Nick Heidfeld (Sauber)|
||Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)|
||Felipe Massa (Ferrari)|
||Vitantonio Liuzzi (Torro Rosso)|
||Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1)|
||Christijan Albers (MF1 Racing)|
||Scott Speed (Torro Rosso)|
||Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber)|
||Tiago Monteiro (MF1 Racing)|
||Franck Montagny (Super Aguri F1)|
||Jarno Trulli (Toyota)|
||Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing)|
||Nico Rosberg (Williams)|
||Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)|
||Mark Webber (Williams)|
||Takuma Sato (Super Aguri F1)|