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Formula One World Championship 2007
Round 14: Belgian GP
- September 16, 2007
Rubens 13th, Jenson Retires at Spa
Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team endured a frustrating Belgian Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello finished in 13th position and Jenson Button was forced to retire on lap 37.
- Rubens Barrichello
- Jenson Button
The RA107 lacked consistency around the demanding Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which made it difficult to drive over a race distance. As a result, the team adopted a one-stop strategy to maximize its chances of a reasonable result.
At the start, both drivers got away well. Jenson was 12th on the grid and managed to retain that position through the notoriously tight La Source hairpin on the opening lap. It was the same story for Rubens, back in 17th place.
The drivers battled their way up the order during the opening segment of the race, helped by the cars ahead of them pitting early on their two-stop strategies. Jenson then became the first of the Honda Racing F1 Team’s drivers to pit at the end of lap 24. He had climbed up to 11th position by this point and rejoined the race in 15th place.
Rubens stayed out two laps longer than his team-mate, pitting from 12th place at the end of lap 26. He rejoined in 17th position and spent the remainder of the race fighting with Liuzzi.
Disappointment was to strike on lap 37 when Jenson slowed two-thirds of the way around the lap. He made it back to the pits, but was forced to retire with hydraulic failure. Rubens went on to cross the line in 13th position.
The team moves to Jerez this week, where it will test some aerodynamic updates on the RA107 ahead of the next race, the Japanese Grand Prix on 30 September.
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- "This has been a pretty frustrating weekend for us because we have been struggling with the car from start to finish. Today, carrying that amount of fuel for a one-stop strategy, the rears were locking badly and I was fighting the car the whole race. Now we have to look forward to Tuesday, the start of our test in Jerez, where we will test the car in a different configuration - hopefully a better one so we can make some progress in the remaining three races."
- JENSON BUTTON
- "It’s always disappointing to retire from a race but it was six laps less pain as the car was so difficult to drive. We expected a tough race this weekend, having tested the revised circuit back in July, so it was no surprise that the car has not been working well here. It was a tough race and the car was changing from huge oversteer to understeer throughout the lap. Then the clutch started slipping, the power steering failed and it was clear we had experienced a hydraulic failure. Disappointing, but we head to Jerez next week with new developments for our home race in Japan and let’s hope for better things in Fuji."
- JACKY EECKELAERT, Engineering Director
- "Our race result today reflects our qualifying positions and that was the most we could hope for really. On this high-speed track our car is simply not fast enough to get us into the points on merit and today there were no reliability issues at the front of the field. We adopted a one-stop strategy, which was the right choice from where we started, and both Jenson and Rubens did a good job with a very difficult car. Next week we will be testing a new aero package in Jerez, which will be used for the remaining three races. We hope to be able to demonstrate the benefit of all the hard work that has been taking place back at base over the past few weeks."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
It was a hard fought Grand Prix for the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM in Belgium today. With Anthony reporting a problem with his SA07 on the way to the grid, the team opted to start his race from the pitlane. Takuma made a good start and battled his way for most of his 43-lap race. Starting from 19th and 21st positions today, Takuma and Anthony took the chequered flag at the end of the last European race of the 2007 season in 15th and 16th places respectively.
- Takuma Sato
- Anthony Davidson
- TAKUMA SATO
- "It was a good race, under the difficult circumstances. I made up a few places at the start, but on the Kemmel straight, when I was side by side with a Toro Rosso, I was pushed off and so had to run on the ‘green’ and lost a lot of momentum. I then had to keep battling to make up my lost positions, but I had fun doing it and had some exciting moments. That shows how great the Spa circuit is for Formula One; that there are overtaking opportunities and that it’s a challenging circuit. It’s just a shame that we did not have the speed today, and that was frustrating. However, all-in-all I think that we have a taken a few positive notes here before we head off to the Japanese Grand Prix."
- ANTHONY DAVIDSON
- "It was a pretty uneventful race for me. I had to start from the pitlane after feeling a problem on the front end of the car on the out lap, so that was a shame. But I caught up with the back of the pack and really fought hard on my one-stop strategy to make the most of it, and I think we did. I was stuck on the prime tyre for longer than I wanted and just as the options came into the working window. From then on I just had to bring the car home. It was good to see our strategy pay off and I think that we’ve learnt a lot from this weekend and will move forward for the last three races."
- GRAHAM TAYLOR, Sporting Director
- "Given the Saturday that we had, today was going to be all about working hard to produce a standard race and both drivers stuck to their task. Anthony reported an ill-handling car on the way to the grid, so we opted to change the set-up and start from the pitlane. We put both drivers on what we believe were the best strategies today and I think that we got the best out of the cars that we could. The team did a great job in the pitstops and once again our reliability was good. Although we did not have a super competitive car, the racer in Takuma still showed through."
Formula One World Championship
Round 14: Belgian GP
||K RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)|
||F MASSA (Ferrari)|
||F ALONSO (McLaren-Mercedes)|
||L HAMILTON (McLaren-Mercedes)|
||N HEIDFELD (BMW)|
||N ROSBERG (Williams-Toyota)|
||M WEBBER (Red Bull-Renault)|
||H KOVALAINEN (Renault)|
||R KUBICA (BMW)|
||R SCHUMACHER (Toyota)|
||J TRULLI (Toyota)|
||V LIUZZI (STR-Ferrari)|
||R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)|
||A SUTIL (Spyker-Ferrari)|
||T SATO (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)|
||A DAVIDSON (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)|
||S YAMAMOTO (Spyker-Ferrari)|
||J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)|
||A WURZ (Williams-Toyota)|
||D COULTHARD (Red Bull-Renault)|
||S VETTEL (STR-Ferrari)|
||G FISICHELLA (Renault)|