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Formula One World Championship 2007

Round 02: Malaysian GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
April 8, 2007

Tenacious Races for Jenson and Rubens at Sepang

Honda Racing F1 Team

In extremely tough conditions, the Honda Racing F1 Team drivers drove textbook races in the Malaysian Grand Prix to bring their cars home in 11th and 12th places. Rubens Barrichello, who started the race from the pitlane, finished just 0.7s ahead of Jenson Button.

Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello
Jenson Button
Jenson Button

At the start, Jenson lost traction away from his 15th position on the grid and dropped down to 19th place at the first corner. He was then hit by another car at Turn 4, yet he managed to fight his way back to 16th place by the end of the opening lap.

Rubens was released from the pitlane only once the entire field had passed, yet he managed to pass two cars by the end of the first lap, and he did the same again on lap two to be in 18th place.

On lap five Jenson lost a place to Alex Wurz, which left the Honda Racing F1 Team’s cars running in formation for the next few laps. The drivers swapped places on lap six, when Rubens overtook Jenson, and that’s how the situation remained until Rubens made his first pitstop on lap 12, from which he emerged in 18th place, just behind Jenson.

Jenson didn’t make his first pitstop until lap 21, by which time he’d climbed up to 11th place. He emerged from that stop in 16th place, behind Ralf Schumacher, and he moved back onto Rubens’ tail on lap 28 when Schumacher pitted.

Rubens peeled into the pitlane on lap 34 for his second stop, which moved Jenson up to 13th place. Four laps later he made his second stop, from which he emerged just 0.7s behind Rubens, which was exactly the gap between them when they passed the chequered flag after 56 laps.

The Honda Racing F1 Team now has less than a week to move its equipment to the Middle East for next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Both Jenson and Rubens tested at the track during the winter, and they are hopeful of another tenacious and reliable performance there.

"We can never be happy finishing 11th but compared with what we had in qualifying yesterday I guess we have had a reasonable race today. For the last two race weekends we’ve had a bad qualifying and then the races have shown that we could have been closer to the points had we not suffered on Saturdays. For the next race our focus has to be on improving our qualifying performance and that’s all we can do to move forward for now."
"A tough race, as we expected. I had a pretty terrible first stint. Sutil drove over the side of my car and there was some damage, although how much of a difference that made I don’t know. During the first two stints I was suffering massively due to lack of rear grip. We came down quite a bit with the front wing level for the final stint, went miles forward on the brake bias and took some pressure out of the tyres to improve things slightly. We were still only 12th but after yesterday we can consider this a small step forward."
JACKY EECKELAERT, Engineering Director
"Both cars were reliable through what is always a tough race here and finished with no mechanical problems. Rubens drove a very strong race considering the fact that he started from the pitlane, making up an impressive 11 places. Due to a first lap incident, Jenson had some damage to his car but with some adjustment at the final stop he was able to come back and finish less than a second behind his team-mate. Both Jenson and Rubens drive exceptionally well and achieved the maximum possible with the car we have for the moment."


In the searing heat and extreme humidity at the Sepang International Circuit today, SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson both took the checkered flag to complete the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix. After an extremely demanding race, Takuma came home in 13th position, whilst team-mate Anthony crossed the finish line in 16th place.

Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Anthony Davidson
Anthony Davidson
"I made a good start. There was so much going on and a lot of cars were side-by-side going into Turn One and Turn Two and in the concertina my front nose was damaged and my performance was compromised. Into Turn Four I went side-by-side with the Toro Rosso’s and I was left with no where to go, so I was pushed off onto the gravel and I lost a lot of places. I overtook some cars, which was an exciting moment, and then I was having a good race. We then lost a few seconds in the second pitstop, so I believe that we could have finished in a higher position, however, I think it was a positive result."
"It was a tough race for me after fighting off the ‘flu all week. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I'm happy that I got to the end. I kept it clean this time on the first lap and got a good start and a really good first lap. But then I struggled with the car balance in the first stint especially and I got a lot of understeer following other cars, so that's something to work on. There was a surprisingly low grip level throughout the whole race and it never really came up for me so I found that a struggle. I still made a few rookie errors, but they can be ironed out and today’s result is definitely a lot more positive than 2 weeks ago, so I'm feeling quite happy with my day's work."
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
"It was a very difficult race for the team. The SA07’s reliability is very good, but not our race pace. Unfortunately Taku lost several places during the first lap, but Anthony made a very good start. I am happy to have both cars finish the race with no issues, however we made one pitstop mistake with Taku. The drivers did a good job today and now we shall work on our performance next Friday for the Bahrain Grand Prix."
Formula One World Championship
Round 02: Malaysian GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 F ALONSO (McLaren-Mercedes)
2 L HAMILTON (McLaren-Mercedes)
3 K RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)
5 F MASSA (Ferrari)
6 G FISICHELLA (Renault)
7 J TRULLI (Toyota)
8 H KOVALAINEN (Renault)
9 A WURZ (Williams-Toyota)
10 M WEBBER (Red Bull-Renault)
11 R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)
12 J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)
14 S SPEED (STR-Ferrari)
15 R SCHUMACHER (Toyota)
17 V LIUZZI (STR-Ferrari)
DNF N ROSBERG (Williams-Toyota)
DNF D COULTHARD (Red Bull-Renault)
DNF C ALBERS (Spyker-Ferrari)
DNF A SUTIL (Spyker-Ferrari)

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