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Formula One World Championship 2007

Round 15: Japan GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
September 29, 2007

Honda Racing F1 Team

The Honda Racing F1 Team’s Jenson Button will lead the challenge of the Japanese teams in their home grand prix at Fuji tomorrow when he lines up on the grid in sixth position. He delivered a fantastic qualifying performance in wet weather and used all his driver skill to push his RA107 to the limit in the poor conditions and progress through to Q3.

His team-mate Rubens Barrichello had a disappointing session when a small mistake on his flying lap cost him a place in Q2 by just 0.1 sec. He will start from 17th position.

This morning’s free practice session was abandoned due to rain and low cloud which meant that the medical helicopter would not be able to fly in the event of an incident. Both Honda Racing F1 Team drivers had completed just two installation laps each earlier in the session when there was a brief interlude in the conditions.

Qualifying got underway in similarly wet and cloudy weather and the drivers started the session by getting a feel for the track conditions. Both reported very low grip. As continuous running established a dry line, conditions began to improve and the lap times started to tumble rapidly. It was in the frantic closing moments of the session that Rubens had a moment in turn five which allowed Liuzzi to squeeze him out of contention for Q2.

Jenson easily qualified for the second session in 10th position then improved to sixth place in Q2 to earn him a place in the final shoot-out for the third time this year. He ended the day as the seventh fastest driver but will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix from the third row of the grid in sixth position.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello
Saturday Practice: -
Qualifying 1: P10 1:26.614
Qualifying 2: P6 1:25.454
Qualifying 3: P7 1:26.913

"I love these wet conditions! A really good qualifying session today and I am obviously pleased that we put in a strong performance at our home race and in front of all the Honda fans here at Fuji. They were pretty tough conditions out there with the track getting greasy towards the end and it was difficult to know which tyres to be on. The team did a great job in deciding our strategy and we definitely got the best of the car in Q1 and Q2. The third session was more difficult as we were running our race fuel levels but I'm happy to have qualified seventh but be starting from sixth on the grid tomorrow. The driver can really make a difference in these conditions so we will be hoping for a wet race as we have a great starting position and there is everything to play for at this end of the grid. I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow and if it is wet then we have a chance to score some points."
Saturday Practice: -
Qualifying 1: P17 1:27.323
Qualifying 2: -
Qualifying 3: -

"I am very frustrated to have lost the chance to go into the second qualifying session by only 0.1sec today. The car was capable of a lot more performance in these wet conditions. Nevertheless I am happy for the team as Jenson did a good job today. It will be a challenging race from here but this track does have some overtaking opportunities so I will put up a good fight to do my best in the team’s home race."
JACKY EECKELAERT, Engineering Director
"In free practice this morning both Jenson and Rubens did only two laps on extreme-wets and reported that the wet track had good grip on those tyres. Then the session was aborted and we went straight into qualifying. This session was wet again and we decided to go for the wet tyres as with 22 cars on the track, the standing water would disappear quickly and then the extreme wet would probably overheat within just a few laps. Rubens was competitive at the start of the session but at the end of Q1, when the track became faster, he had a moment in turn five and did not make it through to Q2. Jenson progressed easily from Q1 to Q3. In the last session he qualified in an excellent seventh position but we are obviously even more pleased that he will be starting from P6 on the grid tomorrow due to Rosberg’s engine change penalty."


SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson endured difficult driving conditions at the Fuji Speedway today. Rolling fog, a usual occurrence for the mountainous area, descended over the circuit this morning together with light rain. As visibility became ever poorer, the morning’s Free Practice session was abandoned after only a few minutes of late running. The weather lifted slightly in the afternoon, however, enabling Qualifying to commence on time.

Anthony Davidson
Anthony Davidson
Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Saturday Practice: -
Qualifying 1: P21 1:28.792
Qualifying 2: -
Qualifying 3: -

"We were fortunate that we were able to run in Qualifying today with such foggy conditions. During the first few minutes my pace was competitive, but I wasn’t happy with the balance and so came back to the pit. Unfortunately I was also called to the weigh bridge and that cost me a bit of time. However, in the second outing, we didn’t have any grip at all and it was a real shame because if we could have kept up our pace from the first outing to the end we were looking strong. Obviously we need to understand why we could not improve our time as this is so important before our race start tomorrow."
Saturday Practice: -
Qualifying 1: P19 1:27.564
Qualifying 2: -
Qualifying 3: -

"It is disappointing not to get through to Q2. I felt that I did everything right with regard to tyre choice in the session. The car basically did not have the pace in these conditions, which is a shame as I felt as though I drove a clean lap and got the most out of the car. I hope that we have dry conditions tomorrow because we know the car worked well yesterday, so if it is dry we should be able to have a good race."
GRAHAM TAYLOR, Sporting Director
"Obviously this was a disappointing Qualifying at our home Grand Prix. Takuma lost some time during the session going to the FIA weigh bridge, but both cars were on the right tyre at the right time. I think we just globally failed to capitalise today."
Formula One World Championship
Round 15: Japan GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1 L HAMILTON (McLaren-Mercedes)
2 F ALONSO (McLaren-Mercedes)
3 K RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)
4 F MASSA (Ferrari)
6 N ROSBERG (Williams-Toyota)
7 J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)
8 M WEBBER (Red Bull-Renault)
9 S VETTEL (STR-Ferrari)
11 G FISICHELLA (Renault)
12 H KOVALAINEN (Renault)
13 D COULTHARD (Red Bull-Renault)
14 J TRULLI (Toyota)
15 V LIUZZI (STR-Ferrari)
16 R SCHUMACHER (Toyota)
17 R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)
18 A WURZ (Williams-Toyota)
20 A SUTIL (Spyker-Ferrari)
22 S YAMAMOTO (Spyker-Ferrari)

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