Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team had a reliable run to 11th and 15th places in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. While it wasn’t the result that the team would have liked, it is a reliable platform from which to build for the remainder of the.
- Rubens Barrichello
- Jenson Button
The team’s drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, both made good starts from 14th and 16th places respectively. Jenson made up one place into the first corner, while Rubens jumped to 14th place, and they then circulated nose-to-tail for much of the opening stint.
The next bit of excitement took place on lap 14 when Rubens – who was on a lighter fuel load – passed Jenson. Rubens then made the first of his two pitstops on lap 19, rejoining the race in 19th place. Jenson followed suit on lap 28, rejoining 3.8s behind his team-mate.
However, misfortune was about to strike. Jenson had to take a drive-through penalty on lap 30 for speeding in the pitlane, from which he emerged in a distant 17th place. Rubens made his second pitstop on lap 39, rejoining in 13th place; Jenson made his second stop – his third visit to the pitlane – on lap 42.
Both of the Honda Racing F1 Team drivers then lapped as quickly as possible until the checkered flag on lap 58. Rubens crossed the line in 11th place, 0.6s behind Heikki Kovalainen and Jenson was 15th, 1.4s adrift of Vitantonio Liuzzi. There is now a three-week break in the F1 calendar, during which time the team will continue to develop its RA107s ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix on 8 April.
- JENSON BUTTON
- "Not a very good day or result unfortunately. I was running heavy with fuel in the first stint and had to pit early because the car had a massive amount of understeer. At my first stop I requested front wing but because of a radio problem the team was unable to respond. When I pitted again, we had to put a lot of wing on but it didn’t make any difference. So the problem may be in the front end aerodynamics. If that proves to be the case, then it is something we can certainly address straight away. Then of course I had the drive-through penalty which just compounded things. Going forward, once we know where our problems lie and what we need to do to fix them, we have three weeks and a test in between to start addressing them. Hopefully we will be able to demonstrate some improvement as early as the next race in Malaysia."
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- "I feel like we had a competitive race today, even though I finished outside of the points. The tyres were working well and our strategy also worked to our advantage. I was losing time behind Jenson in the first part of the race but that’s the way racing goes. We have no team orders so I had to find my way past and go on from there. Apart from that, I thought we could quite possibly have scored points here. I think we got the best from the car today so we have shown that there is a lot of work to do to improve. At least we know where our problem is and we have some ideas on how to fix them. I’m sure we can make some progress before Malaysia."
- JACKY EECKELAERT, Engineering Director
- "On a positive note, both cars ran reliably today. Rubens drove a strong race from 17th on the grid to 11th place, less than nine seconds outside of the points. Jenson’s car balance was not good at any stage of the race, which we believe to be a front end aero problem. On top of that, a drive-through penalty made him lose several places. We now have to improve our race pace as we target points-scoring positions. We have three weeks between the races and we will do everything we can to give our drivers a more competitive car at the next round."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM achieved a two-car finish at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today, however the race was not without incident for the team. Takuma Sato and new team mate Anthony Davidson finished in 12th and 16th positions respectively, however both drivers experienced different problems on their way to the starting grid.
Takuma made a good race start, holding position, however Anthony’s car failed to get away cleanly which cost him several places down the grid. During an incident with Albers Anthony was hit on the right-hand side which launched the car into the air and winded him as it hit the ground. Despite suffering with back pain and carrying a reasonable amount of bodywork damage for the entire race, Anthony took the chequered flag for the first time in his F1 career.
- Takuma Sato
- Anthony Davidson
- TAKUMA SATO
- "Firstly, well done to everybody in the team. It is a positive start to the season, with two reliable cars finishing the race. I had quite an exciting start and first lap amongst the pack, which I enjoyed. But with the differing track conditions, I was struggling a bit with the balance of the car which meant that we could not make the most of it. But I take this as a positive learning experience and something that we shall have to work on from here. During my second stop we lost some time and that affected our finishing position. That was unfortunate, but I think we've shown good performance and made a very solid start, so I am looking forward to having another good race in Malaysia."
- ANTHONY DAVIDSON
- "The car went into anti-stall at the start, which is such a shame as I didn't go anywhere, so obviously I was then in last place as we went into turn one. I collected myself and thought that maybe I'd get some early positions back. I went round the outside of one of the Spyker’s and they hit me quite heavily, even though I thought I'd given them enough room. The car got pitched into the air and landed very heavily and I hurt my upper back. The jolt also winded me a lot making talking on the radio difficult. I think that we've got to work on our pace for the next race, so we need to do some more long runs and understand what happens to the balance during the test in Sepang. My car suffered a lot of damage, the whole right side of the bodywork was gone, the floor's broken, and I must have lost a major amount of downforce and that obviously slows you down a lot. It was a fight, but I got to the end of the race and saw my first Grand Prix checkered flag."
- AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
- "I want to say thank you very much to everybody because this winter has been extremely busy for the team with testing and all of our staff, mechanics and the drivers have done a good job. We were very good in Qualifying yesterday, but during the race we were a little unlucky. Anthony did not start well because of the anti-stall and Taku, who did a good job in the race, was unlucky in his pitstops. His first stop was slow and there was traffic in the pitlane during his second stop which meant that he could not leave the box in good time. On the positive side, our two cars finished the race today and so I think that it is a good start to the season."