|Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team achieved a top 10 finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. Jenson Button brought his RA108 home in 10th place and team-mate Rubens Barrichello ended the race in 13th position.
Both drivers improved on their grid placings during the course of the 56-lap race and lapped consistently with the cars around them, giving the team a valuable indication of the RA108’s current level of competitiveness.
The cars ran reliably in the tough conditions and both drivers delivered a solid race performance. In an otherwise fault-free race, the only issue was when Rubens exceeded the pitlane speed limit after his second pitstop and was required to take a drive-through penalty eight laps later.
Q. Does your position today reflect the current performance level of the RA108?
A. “It was good to finish the full race distance today and we will get a lot of very useful information from this weekend. I'm pretty satisfied with 10th place as that is where the performance of the car is right now. With the majority of cars ahead of us also finishing, it is a good reflection of our overall position.”
Q. What progress can be made ahead of Round 3 in Bahrain?
A. “We're going in the right direction and learning more about the car all the time, so we need to keep up the hard work and continue to develop ahead of the next race in two weeks’ time."
Q. How do you feel about your race today?
A. "Unfortunately my weekend was compromised when we lost the free practice running on Saturday morning, as I lacked balance in the car for the race today. I had a lot of understeer and was battling with that throughout the race. The drive-through penalty after my second stop was unfortunate, even though I only lost one place, as the markings in the pitlane to indicate where the speed limit ends were not clear enough."
Q. What have you learnt from the first two races of the season?
A. “We have learnt a great deal from the past two weeks and I have been very encouraged by our reliability. We still have a lot of work to do on the performance but that will come through our development programme over the coming weeks in preparation for Europe. We are quite competitive within the very tight midfield group and it is encouraging to see that both cars made it through a very tough race today. We will learn from our experiences, both positive and negative, and I am confident that we will continue to improve over the next few races."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. What is your assessment of the car and team’s performance this weekend?
A. “This weekend was more straightforward for the whole field compared with Melbourne and we saw fewer drivers making mistakes. Sepang is also a more representative circuit in terms of car performance, as Melbourne can produce unusual results. Therefore to see Jenson finish the race in 10th place with Rubens just behind, in spite of his problems in the third free practice session, is very encouraging and a real indication of the car’s pace. There is still a great deal of work to do but we are really starting to make improvements one step at a time.”
Q. After an encouraging start to the season, what are your plans for developing the car in preparation for Europe?
A. “Our next development step will be introduced for Barcelona where we will see another aero update and we also plan to have some new suspension components. Of course every team will have updates but we feel the rate of our own progress is significant and we are hopeful that it will see us take a step up the grid for the start of the European season.”
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM drivers Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato endured extremely
hot and humid weather conditions to bring both cars home at the end of the 2008
Malaysian Grand Prix in 15th and 16th positions respectively.
“It was good to finish the race. The first and second stints were good, but then in the
second stint, unfortunately, I picked up marbles through the high speed section, ran wide
and lost a lot of time there. On almost every lap we had traffic, especially during the last
stint, so it was a pity that I couldn’t pick up the pace again until the very end. But it was
good to see that the car was reliable and that we have collected a valuable set of data, so
it was a tough, but good race for the team.”
“It was a good race for the team, and me, today. It was great to do my first full distance
race since Brazil and I think it went well. The boys did an excellent job and the car ran
reliably all the way through the race. There were no problems what so ever and the tyres
worked well. I felt comfortable in the car and I could push whenever I wanted to improve
the lap time. I just stayed out of trouble and brought the car home in a very respectable
position for the situation that we are in at the moment.”
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal
“I am very happy to have a two-car finish here in Malaysia because it is a very hot, humid
and difficult race. The whole team has done an excellent job and for both cars to finish
means that we have finally started the 2008 season.”