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Formula One World Championship 2006

Round 11: French GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
July 16, 2006

Double Retirement at Magny-Cours

Honda Racing F1 Team

The Honda Racing F1 Team posted its first double retirement of the season in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. Rubens Barrichello was forced out of the race after just 18 laps and Jenson Button stopped on lap 61.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello

The race started well for the team, with both drivers gaining one place away from the starting grid. Rubens slotted in behind David Coulthard in 12th place, while Jenson ran behind Christian Klien in 16th position.

On lap three Rubens lost a place to Scott Speed after running wide at the hairpin, but he then drove tenaciously in 14th place until a suspected engine problem forced him into retirement.

Jenson inherited 15th place as a result of Rubens’ misfortune and he made the first of his two pitstops on lap 21. Fantastic work by the Honda Racing F1 Team pitcrew moved him up the order, and he had gained two places by the end of the first pitstop sequence.

He circulated in 14th place during the middle stint of the race, before gaining another position when Mark Webber spun out on lap 39. Jenson then made his second pitstop on lap 46, but a sudden loss of power on the back straight led him to retire with just nine laps of the race remaining.

The Honda Racing F1 Team now heads to Jerez in Spain for an intensive test session next week prior to the next round of the World Championship in Germany on 30 July.

"With the package that we had this weekend, we were doing a decent job and were definitely going better in the race than in qualifying. I was up to 11th and catching up with Scott Speed in front of me and I think we could have got him. I felt a loss of power as I came onto the back straight and as I was changing up through the gears, the power just went. We’ll have to see the data later to find out exactly what the problem was. It’s really frustrating because although we were struggling in the first stint, we were much better in the second and third stints after the pit stops. The car is feeling reasonable and the balance is there, it’s just a lack of overall speed. That comes from engine power and downforce, and that’s what we’re lacking at the moment, along with reliability. It’s massively frustrating, not just for me, but the whole team who have worked so hard this weekend."
"It’s difficult to know at the moment what the problem was but it looks like the engine because there was a lot of smoke and I lost all the power. We were hoping for a better pace in the race but the whole weekend has just not gone as planned which is very sad. I believe in this team and we will react to this. I am very concentrated and motivated, and I really believe that we will turn the corner. We have to keep our feet on the ground, keep our motivation high and keep working at it."
GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
"This was a difficult weekend for us. Rubens had a failure early in the race, as did Jenson in the later stages, something we obviously will investigate and address. Jenson fought hard all day from his low grid position, maintaining an impressive rhythm throughout, with good strategy calls and clean fast stops gaining a couple of positions. Despite these positives, we come out of France disappointed on one hand, but on the other, we are even more determined to turn things around."


SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM driver Franck Montagny took the checkered flag in 16th position for his home race, the 2006 French Grand Prix, today. It was a disappointing end to the weekend for Takuma Sato who, after suffering a clutch related problem at the start of the race, had to retire on the very first lap.

Franck Montagny
Franck Montagny
Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
"Well, from my point of view it's a good result because I finished the race. I had a good start and I could fight with the others. I cut the chicane only because I had been overtaken by Monteiro and I couldn't get into the chicane. So it was a good start in terms of being able to race with the other cars and after that I just tried to focus on the tyres and on the car and to give my maximum and see how it works. And we finished the race. The team and the engineers did a good job this weekend and I have to thank the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM and Aguri Suzuki for giving me the opportunity to race with them."
"Obviously I'd like to say big thanks to the SA05! The car has done a great job since the beginning of the season, but this was not the end to the weekend that we wanted. I had a clutch problem on the formation lap and so at the start I really struggled to pull away. When I finally moved everyone was already in the distance, but I rapidly caught up with the group on the straight and I overtook one Midland into the hairpin! But then I couldn't select the gears and there was nothing else I could do. It is a great shame for the boys who have worked so hard. We split the strategy between Franck and me and I should have had a really strong package. I am very pleased for the team and for Franck that he had a fantastic race today."
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
"Unfortunately for the team Taku had to retire due to a clutch problem, but I am very happy that Franck finished the race not only because the French Grand Prix is very important to him, but we also needed to cross the finish line again. Franck’s lap times were very consistent and he made no mistakes and I think that the team did an extremely good job all weekend. We must remember that this is still the SA05 which is not a competitive car, but with our new car making its debut in Germany, we can hope for an improvement in our results."
Formula One World Championship
Round 11: French GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
4 Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)
5 Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
6 Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault)
7 Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren)
8 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber)
9 David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing)
10 Scott Speed (Torro Rosso)
11 Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber)
12 Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing)
13 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Torro Rosso)
14 Nico Rosberg (Williams)
15 Christijan Albers (MF1 Racing)
16 Franck Montagny (Super Aguri F1)
DNF Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1)
DNF Mark Webber (Williams)
DNF Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
DNF Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1)
DNF Tiago Monteiro (MF1 Racing)
DNF Takuma Sato (Super Aguri F1)

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