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Formula One World Championship 2006

Round 17: Japan GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
October 7, 2006

Honda Racing F1 Team

The Honda Racing F1 Team’s home crowd will see Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello line up on the 4th row of the grid at Suzuka tomorrow after they qualified 7th and 8th for the Japanese Grand Prix.

After yesterday’s downpour, today’s weather conditions were fine and dry although a gusty wind was making car handling inconsistent.In this morning’s free practice, Jenson posted the 3rd fastest lap and was the quickest Michelin runner on track. Rubens was less happy with the balance of his car and switched to the T-car chassis for the start of the qualifying hour.

Both drivers eased their way through session one but the second shoot-out was a much more tense affair as there were several surprise casualties in the dying seconds. Jenson moved up to 4th and Rubens’ lap was good for 10th position, securing his place in the final session.

The final 15 minutes highlighted the differences between cars and strategies at this circuit and Jenson and Rubens qualified in 7th and 8th places, the second fastest pairing on Michelin tyres.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello
Free Practice 3 Position: 3rd
Session 1 5th
Session 2 4th
Session 3 - Grid Position: 7th Lap Time: 1:30.992

"I would obviously have liked to be further up the grid here but we made the best of what we had today. On low fuel the car was very good but as soon as we put the fuel in we were struggling for rear grip. For some reason, in these windy conditions, the car doesn’t work so well but we’re expecting it to be a lot calmer tomorrow. I think it will be a tough race but I know we will have tremendous support from the Honda fans out there and we will do everything we can to secure a good result."
Free Practice 3 Position: 18th
Session 1 14th
Session 2 10th
Session 3 - Grid Position: 8th Lap Time: 1:31.478

"I would like to thank all the boys for doing a tremendous job. When the circumstances are not working in your favour it’s very difficult, but we have done the best job we can. Thanks to the hard work of the team I was able to qualify well inside the top ten today. This is obviously our home race so we will be giving it everything we have tomorrow in order to secure the best possible result and to put on a good show for our home crowd."
GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
"Our results in this session were satisfactory. In the end we were the second fastest team on Michelins so far this weekend and we are in a good place for the start of the race. Given the issues that Rubens was having this morning, we elected to change him to the spare chassis. As a result he was much happier and fought hard to secure his place in the top ten. Jenson was very fast throughout qualifying and got everything out of the car this afternoon. We shall see how the different strategies play out tomorrow but hopefully we can put on a good show in front of Honda’s many fans!"


Warm temperatures and dry conditions were welcomed by fans all around the Suzuka Circuit today. However, on track, the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM had a difficult day. Sakon Yamamoto experienced a power steering issue which limited his running during the morning’s Free Practice session and then a spin just before the Hairpin ended his Qualifying prematurely. Takuma Sato had a more promising morning, however his SA06 was lacking in pace compared to the rest of the field who showed impressive form around this unique circuit during Qualifying.

Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Sakon Yamamoto
Sakon Yamamoto
FP3 Position 22 Fastest Lap Time 1:34.727
Qualifying Grid Position 20 Fastest Lap Time 1:33.666

"We were quite happy with our progress during the morning’s free practice session and felt prepared for Qualifying this afternoon. However, during Qualifying, we were just not quick enough, so I am quite disappointed. We shall now just have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that we have a strong package for the race."
FP3 Position 21 Fastest Lap Time 1:34.646
Qualifying Grid Position 22 Fastest Lap Time DNF

"After this morning’s practice session and at the start of Qualifying I had a really good feeling about the car. I tried my best and pushed hard during Qualifying, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the Hairpin and the engine stopped. It is a real shame because I know that the engineers and the boys have worked extremely hard for this race, but I have a very good reason to be positive about the race tomorrow."
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
"We pushed hard to develop our car for this race and have brought many new aero developments to Suzuka. I want to thank everyone in the team for all of their hard work, but we need to improve greatly on our car performance because it is still not enough. Taku and the boys did a great job today and it is unfortunate that Sakon stalled during Qualifying. Looking forward to tomorrow, we will give it 110% and hope that we have a good race here at Suzuka."
Formula One World Championship
Round 17: Japan GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 F MASSA (Ferrari)
2 M SCHUMACHER (Ferrari)
4 J TRULLI (Toyota)
5 F ALONSO (Renault)
6 G FISICHELLA (Renault)
7 J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)
8 R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)
10 N ROSBERG (Williams-Cosworth)
11 K RAIKKONEN (McLaren-Mercedes)
12 R KUBICA (Sauber-BMW)
13 P DE LA ROSA (McLaren-Mercedes)
14 M WEBBER (Williams-Cosworth)
15 V LIUZZI (STR-Cosworth)
16 C ALBERS (MF1-Toyota)
17 D COULTHARD (RBR-Ferrari)
18 R DOORNBOS (RBR-Ferrari)
19 S SPEED (STR-Cosworth)
21 T MONTEIRO (MF1-Toyota)

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