Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team ended the 2006 Formula One season on a high note, when Jenson Button drove a stunning race at Interlagos to finish third. It was his third podium of the year and his seventh consecutive points finish. Capping a good day for the team, Rubens Barrichello came home in seventh place.
- Jenson Button
- Rubens Barrichello
Jenson asserted prior to the start that he’d drive an aggressive race, and that’s exactly what he did. On lap one he moved up from 14th on the grid to 10th place, and by lap 22 he had climbed up to third place, just 4.5s behind Fernando Alonso. In this early part of the race, the only time that Jenson wasn’t overtaking people was from laps two to six, when the Safety Car was on the track.
Rubens made a good start as well, converting his fifth place grid position away from the line. But he was overtaken later in the lap by two cars, which dropped him to seventh place. He went on to benefit from the retirements of two drivers ahead of him and was up to fifth place by the time of his first pitstop on lap 21.
Jenson made his first pitstop on lap 25, from which he rejoined the race in seventh place, just behind Kimi Raikkonen. Jenson was quicker than the McLaren driver and he pulled a fantastic overtaking manoeuvre on Kimi into Turn 1 on lap 29 to take fourth place.
At this stage, Jenson was just one second behind Alonso and that’s where he remained for the remainder of the 71-lap race, even when he made his second pitstop on lap 50. At the end of the race, he crossed the line 0.7s behind the Spaniard, whose second place won him his second World Championship.
Rubens drove at a consistent pace throughout the race. In the closing laps Michael Schumacher – who was driving in his final grand prix – overtook him on lap 50 after a close dice.
Jenson finishes the 2006 World Championship in sixth place, with 56 points, and Rubens in seventh place, with 30 points. The Honda Racing F1 Team finishes fourth in the Constructors Championship with 86 points.
- JENSON BUTTON
- "I’m thrilled to end the season on the podium, especially coming through from 14th on the grid yet again and after the problem we experienced yesterday. This result came out of a genuine fight, with the car showing great competitiveness. It was one of the most enjoyable races I have experienced. It’s only natural to think about where we could have finished if we had been able to start further up the grid, but we shouldn’t take anything away from a great result and a very strong second half of the season. My thanks to everyone in the team, and all our partners and fans. This is a fantastic way to go into the winter when I’m sure we will all have the motivation to push harder for a much stronger 2007 season."
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- "It was tough for me today. I couldn't get a rhythm in the car and I was having some difficulties with the handling, but still we got two cars in the points once again. Jenson had a good race coming from the back to get on the podium, so it's a strong end of the season for us. I have to say that I struggled this year with the car but we have the winter to work hard with the benefit of all the lessons we have learned this season. I would also like to congratulate Felipe on his fantastic win today. We all get in life what we deserve, and he has had a great weekend. My thanks to everyone associated with our team for a great first season with Honda. Now I’m looking forward to 2007."
- GIL DE FERRAN, Sporting Director
- "What a great way to finish the season and what a spectacular drive by Jenson to come all the way from 14th to the podium once again! Jenson had a good start and made up a lot of places on the first lap. After that he was flying, executing some brilliantly judged overtaking manoeuvres. Once he caught up with Alonso, he put up a good fight to try and pass him for second. Rubens raced hard throughout, posing a strong challenge to Fisichella who was on a similar strategy.
Today is a day of many milestones. First of all, well done to Fernando Alonso on a much-deserved second World Championship title. Many congratulations and best wishes to Michael Schumacher on a brilliant and inspiring career that brought many F1 fans a lot of joy over 15 years of spectacular racing. Many thanks also to the founders of this team, British American Tobacco, and title sponsor Lucky Strike, in what is their last race, for their confidence, support and vision. Lastly we should also thank our partners - particularly Michelin - and the many talented Honda team members in Japan and the UK for the tremendous effort and dedication which has culminated in this great final result of the season."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM finished its inaugural year with its best race to date. At the 2006 Formula One season finale in Sao Paulo today Takuma Sato brought home his SA06 in 10th position following an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix. Team mate Sakon Yamamoto completed the two-car finish by taking the chequered flag in 16th position. Sakon set the seventh fastest lap time of the race and Takuma the ninth in a gripping grand prix that brought to an end a challenging season for the fledgling team.
- Takuma Sato
- Sakon Yamamoto
- TAKUMA SATO
- "This is an absolutely fantastic result. Following our performance in Suzuka we couldn't have asked for anything more. This was another great team effort and the mechanics did a fantastic job in the pit stops. I felt comfortable in the car and so I really enjoyed it. At the start of the race I was taking the corners side-by-side with the other cars and we overtook the Red Bull and Spyker cars. After the safety car went in we were really able to push and take it to the two Toro Rosso’s, so for the whole time I was racing and I really, really enjoyed it. A big thanks to all the team, it has been a long and hard season, and I'm very happy to finish in 10th position for the last race of the year."
- SAKON YAMAMOTO
- "First of all I'd like to thank everybody who has always supported me. I was able to push from the start of the race to the finish. At the end I was pushing as fast as in qualifying and battled with Spyker all the race. I want to thank the whole SAF1 Team for their hard work - the car was fantastic. Finally I was able to enjoy a race from start to finish and it feels great."
- AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
- "I am very happy today as both SAF1 Team cars finished the race and Taku finished in the top 10. This is an amazing and incredible achievement for the team. Taku’s lap times were also very quick and consistent and the mechanics did a great job during the pit stops. It was a perfect race result to end the season and now we will focus on next year and on coming back in an even stronger position! Congratulations to everybody."
- Jenson Button