Formula 1 > 2006 Round 12: German GP > Race Results
Formula 1July 30, 2006
Formula One World Championship
Round 12: German GP

Fourth Place in Germany

Qualifying >>

Honda Racing F1 Team

Jenson Button finished the German Grand Prix in an encouraging fourth place. The Honda Racing F1 Team driver started the race in fourth place and ran as high as third before being forced to settle for fourth place in the closing stages.

Jenson Button

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Jenson’s team-mate, also drove well. He ran as high as fifth in the early stages until a suspected engine problem forced him to retire on lap 19.

The start of the race was very busy for both drivers. Jenson was passed into Turn 1 by Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso, but he managed to re-pass Alonso by the end of the opening lap. On lap two, Jenson overtook Fisichella for fourth and set about stabilizing the gap to third-placed Felipe Massa.

Rubens, meanwhile, dropped to ninth at the start and had to sit on the gearbox of Mark Webber for the opening laps. He moved up to eighth when Pedro de la Rosa retired and then seventh when Kimi Raikkonen was the first car to pit, on lap 10.

Jenson inherited third place when Raikkonen was in the pits, before making his own pitstop on lap 16. Rubens overtook Webber on the same lap, so he jumped two places to be fifth. He then made his first stop on lap 18, but he was forced to retire on his out-lap after a suspected engine failure.

Jenson drove a tenacious middle stint, overtaking Raikkonen for seventh on lap 18 and pressuring Webber for the next 19 laps. Webber then made his first stop on lap 38, which moved Jenson into third place.

He made his second and final stop on lap 41 and drove the bulk of the final stint in third place. However, Raikkonen applied a lot of pressure and despite fighting hard to retain his position, Jenson was passed on lap 58. At the checkered flag, Jenson was 5.6s behind Raikkonen.

The Honda Racing F1 Team has a busy week ahead, moving to Hungary for next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

“I had a great race today and the first two stints were very enjoyable. To get past both Renaults at the start and then past Kimi during the race felt very good and I had a lot of fun out there. The last stint was really tough because I had massive amounts of tyre graining on the front left and a lot of rear locking, so I just couldn’t fight off Raikkonen. I’m really happy though. We’ve made a definite step forward here and we’ve been strong all weekend but we have to continue that into Hungary now which will be hard work. It looks like we’re getting back on track though.”

“We made some good progress here this weekend, so it’s very disappointing for me that we let that go with a bad start and an engine failure. In the first few laps the car was running well and with the strategy and long run pace we had I think we should have done well today. Not long after my first pit stop the engine caught fire and there was oil on the tyres which caused me to spin and that was the end of my race. I just have to hope that we can carry this progress through to Hungary now because everyone has been working so hard to take this step forward.”

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director
“Jenson achieved a good result for us today. After our strong qualifying performance yesterday, neither car had the best of starts, nevertheless both Jenson and Rubens were able to fight back during the first stint when the cars were handling well. Jenson was fighting hard for a podium, however the car's handling went away in the last stint and there was no way for him to maintain 3rd place. It was disappointing that Rubens had to retire after such a strong weekend. Overall we are happy with 4th place and we come away from Hockenheim encouraged by the improved performance of both cars, the credit for which must go to the whole team who have worked relentlessly on a variety of new developments to both car and engine.”


It was a disappointing but not wholly unexpected end to the German Grand Prix weekend for the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM. A start-up issue prevented Sakon Yamamoto, who was commencing his inaugural race with the SAF1 Team from the pit lane, from initially leaving the garage. This was followed by a drive shaft failure which forced him to retire on his first lap. Takuma Sato’s weekend came to an equally disappointing end after an encouraging Qualifying session yesterday. Takuma made an impressive race start and was soon up to 15 th position from his original 17 th when a gearbox oil leak also forced Takuma to retire from the 2006 German Grand Prix on lap 38.

Takuma Sato

Sakon Yamamoto

Takuma Sato
“The debut of the SA06 in Germany has been positive and the car performed very well in Qualifying yesterday. We were expecting a little bit more in terms of race pace today, so we are a little bit disappointed, but it is a big step up from the SA05 so this will come in time. It was exciting to be able to race with the Midland’s and in the second stint I was still ahead of one of them. In the end I had a gearbox related oil issue so I had to retire from the race, but because this is a new car it is not really surprising that we encountered some kind of problem. Although it was obviously a disappointing race today, overall it was a good weekend for us, not easy, but definitely a good weekend.”

Sakon Yamamoto
“I am disappointed not to have raced here today as I only completed one lap. On the positive side, we have collected more data than we had for the SA06 today, so we shall study this before we arrive in Hungary. The SA06 is easier to drive than the SA05, so I hope that I can continue to adapt well and learn more about the car for the race in Hungary next week.”

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal
“I am very sorry that Sakon was unable to compete in his first race with the team today. He showed encouraging progress in the SA06 all weekend so I hope that he will have a good Grand Prix in Hungary. Taku did a good job here today - he was competitive and showed that he was able to fight with the Midland’s, but unfortunately he suffered with an oil leak. Even with our result today I am happy with the SA06’s first outing because we were not been able to test the car before this race and I think that we have made an encouraging start.”

Formula One World Championship
Round 12: German GP

1 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
3 Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
4 Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1)
5 Fernando Alonso (Renault F1)
6 Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault F1)
7 Jarno Trulli (Toyota F1)
8 Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing)
9 Ralf Schumacher (Toyota F1)
10 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso)
11 David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing)
12 Scott Speed (Toro Rosso)
13 Christijan Albers (MF1 Racing)
14 Tiago Monteiro (MF1 Racing)
DNF Mark Webber (WilliamsF1)
DNF Takuma Sato (Super Aguri F1)
DNF Jacques Villeneuve (BMW Sauber )
DNF Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1)
DNF Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
DNF Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren)
DNF Sakon Yamamoto (Super Aguri F1)
DNF Nico Rosberg (WilliamsF1)
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