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Formula One World Championship 2006

Round 16: Chinese GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
October 1, 2006

Chinese Grand Prix: Race Results

Honda Racing F1 Team

The Honda Racing F1 Team’s Chinese Grand Prix ended pretty much as it began with drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button locked together as they brought home a fourth consecutive double points finish for the team. Having started from 3rd and 4th on the grid, they finally ended the 56-lap race with Jenson 4th and Rubens 6th after a race-long battle in the changeable wet-dry-wet conditions.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello

Two faultless pitstops for both drivers were well-timed to ensure a safe switch to dry tyres. Jenson had been struggling for grip in the latter part of the first stint, pitting much earlier than planned. At the same time, Rubens was really making up ground as his car and tyres were performing well. From the point of Jenson’s first pitstop he was in his element, edging closer to his team-mate to produce some real ‘edge-of-your-seat’ racing for the fans. Both drivers sat tight on dry tyres as the rain started to fall again in the last few laps before Jenson seized the moment and passed first a McLaren, then his team-mate and finally a BMW in quick succession to secure a hard-fought 4th position.

After a real adrenaline buzz of a race in Shanghai, the team heads to Japan for its home Grand Prix next weekend, where it hopes to put on an equally exciting show for its legions of Honda fans.

"I’m really pleased to have finished where I started in 4th position. Initially the car felt really good; I was pulling away from the field well and staying in touch with the cars in front. Then I started to struggle with the rear tyres which were practically bald so I had to come in early for my first pitstop. I had no rear grip and because of that I was losing 3 seconds or more a lap. In the dry there was only one line and from that point I was just in my element really! It was a lot of fun and reminded me of the karting days when I won the European Championships back in 1997. Into the last corner I was in front of Rubens and De La Rosa and I came down the inside of Heidfeld, turned into the corner and when I looked into my mirrors I could see the people behind me were going straight on and into each other. There are a few areas where we are weak which we need to work on, but we are still fired up for our home race in Japan next weekend."
"My race was OK, although my car was better on the wet tyres than the ‘slicks’. It was a real shame that my last lap was ruined and there were some problems with the backmarkers so I lost time and two positions. Heidfeld was forced to make an avoiding manoeuvre in turn 2 but I was there on the track already and we touched, which damaged my front wing. With the resulting loss of front downforce, I lost more time over the remainder of that final lap. There was more confusion at the hairpin, and again Heidfeld and I came together, but I managed to recover to finish the race. 4th and 6th is another good team result. We are looking competitive for our home race next weekend when I hope we can secure another good team result in front of the Japanese crowd."
GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
"What an exciting race! Although we didn't get the podium we were hoping for, having Jenson and Rubens in the points again is a good result for us considering the unpredictable and difficult conditions. After a good start from both drivers, the first issue we encountered was when Jenson started suffering an imbalance which was costing him a lot of time towards the latter half of his first stint. As a result we brought him in earlier than scheduled to change the tyres. Rubens wasn't suffering with the same issues and we retained the same set of tyres on his first stop. The track was taking a long time to dry out and we just about hit the right time to change to dry tyres when both drivers had to come in for their second stop. From then on, Jenson and Rubens were not only fighting each other but they were also challenging Heidfeld ahead as well as being pursued by De La Rosa. This fight culminated in a very exciting last few laps when it started drizzling with rain and they all shuffled positions. In the end this was a good result for us and hopefully we can go one step further in front of our home crowd in Japan."


Sakon Yamamoto brought home his SA06 to finish his first grand prix with the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM. Team mate Takuma Sato passed the checkered flag in 14th position giving the SAF1 Team another double finish. The weather once again played an integral part this weekend and made for an eventful 2006 Chinese Grand Prix.

Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Sakon Yamamoto
Sakon Yamamoto
"It was a fantastic result for us really and indeed it was a truly exciting race in incredibly difficult conditions for everybody. I did a lot of communication throughout the race with my engineer and I think that we chose the right tyre at the right time. At the beginning of the race I got held up, but when I got clear air I was then able to push really hard. At one stage we had a small gearbox related problem, but we were able to fix it quickly. I think that this was a great team effort and it was so important for us to have a good race here in China so that we could carry our good momentum on to Suzuka."
"It was a really tough race for me because the track and weather conditions were constantly changing. We made a decision to change to slick tyres too early one time and I found the car difficult to handle, but after that I pushed hard for the rest of the race. This was my first F1 finish and it feels brilliant. I would like to thank everyone who has always supported me and, of course, the SAF1 Team boys, engineers and everyone at the factory. I am now looking forward to returning to Suzuka with good motivation from my race in China."
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
"I am very happy because we have once again achieved a two-car finish and Sakon has finished his first F1 race. Taku's lap time was very good and he drove a solid race in difficult conditions. The Chinese Grand Prix was very important to the team as it is just before we travel to Suzuka. Our car has shown reliability here, which is extremely important and we have had a very good race today so I am very happy indeed."
Formula One World Championship
Round 16: Chinese GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 Fernando Alonso (Renault F1)
3 Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault F1)
4 Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1)
5 Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren)
6 Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1)
7 Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
8 Mark Webber (WilliamsF1)
9 David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing)
10 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso)
11 Nico Rosberg (WilliamsF1)
12 Robert Doornbos (Minardi)
13 Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)
14 Takuma Sato (Super Aguri F1)
15 Scott Speed (Toro Rosso)
16 Christijan Albers (MF1 Racing)
17 Sakon Yamamoto (Super Aguri F1)
DNF Ralf Schumacher (Toyota F1)
DNF Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
DNF Jarno Trulli (Toyota F1)
DNF Tiago Monteiro (MF1 Racing)
DNF Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)

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