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Formula One World Championship 2008
Round 03: Bahrain GP
- April 5, 2008
Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team enjoyed its best qualifying performance of the year at the Bahrain International Circuit today. Jenson Button achieved his target of a top 10 grid slot when he posted the 9th fastest lap, while his team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start tomorrow's 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix from 12th position.
Jenson completed two runs in Q1, in which his second lap - 1:32.793s - was 0.8s quicker than his first effort and placed him an impressive 5th place overall. Rubens also completed two runs and his best lap, 1:32.944s, placed him in 9ｔｈ position.
The track conditions improved throughout qualifying, which resulted in both drivers improving their lap times in Q2. Jenson's best lap, 1:32.362s, was his fastest of the weekend so far and placed him 10th, while Rubens was just 0.2s behind.
- Jenson Button
- Rubens Barrichello
- JENSON BUTTON
- Saturday Practice: P16 1:33.600
Qualifying 1: P5 1:32.793
Qualifying 2: P10 1:32.362
Qualifying 3: P9 1:35.057
Q. You must be pleased with your qualifying performance? Did you maximise the current performance of the RA108?
A. "I'm very pleased with our qualifying session today. To make it through to Q3 and be lining up on the clean side of the grid tomorrow in P9 is very satisfying for myself and the team. After struggling a little this morning, we were able to resolve the issues before qualifying and the car felt good this afternoon. We can have a strong race from here so I'm excited about the prospects for tomorrow."
Q. How have you been able to improve the car during the weekend?
A. "We haven't made any significant changes to the car since the first two races so really we are just working hard to optimise the current package. The car is still quite new to us as we only had the new aero package just before the first race of the season, so I'm happy with how this season is progressing. We're moving forward with each race and I'm confident that this will also be the case in Barcelona when our next upgrades arrive."
- RUBENS BARRICHELLO
- Saturday Practice: P14 1:33.551
Qualifying 1: P9 1:32.994
Qualifying 2: P12 1:32.508
Qualifying 3: -
Q. How would you sum up your qualifying session today?
A. "I'm quite happy with qualifying today, particularly as we made a lot of improvements to the car since yesterday, so it was a very good job from our engineers overnight. Unfortunately we had a gearbox issue which interfered with my lap during Q2. Without that, I am confident that we could have had a place in the top ten."
Q. What are your expectations for the race tomorrow?
A. "I enjoy this track and if the car is performing well again tomorrow, then I believe that we can be challenging for points here. A small mistake around this track can cost you a lot of time so the key is to keep focused and have confidence in your braking. If we can achieve this, then I'm expecting a good race."
- STEVE CLARK Head of Race & Test Engineering
- Q. Are you pleased with the qualifying performances of Jenson and Rubens?
A. "Obviously Jenson getting our first top ten qualifying of the season is very satisfying. He had no 'option' tyres left for the final session so we had no realistic chance to threaten the top half, although finishing ahead of Alonso is helpful for tomorrow. Rubens also had the pace to get to the last session but he had a gearbox problem on his last run which cost him that chance. Rubens was able to pass into Q2 with only one set of option tyres, so he has the advantage of a new set to start the race tomorrow."
Q. What kind of race can we expect to see tomorrow?
A. "The wind could play a big part and we may see the track losing grip for the start of the race. We are running relatively high downforce here so we are hoping this will play into our hands. There is plenty of runoff at this circuit so I wouldn't expect many safety car events tomorrow; there has been just one in the past. There may well be plenty of overtaking, especially as the tyres start to give up grip. We were very happy with our race set-up from Friday and Jenson's car worked well with fuel in the final qualifying session."
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM made steady progress during Free Practice this morning and team drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were satisfied with the work that the team had achieved on improvements overnight. Having found better balance in the SA08A's for Qualifying, the drivers pushed their machines to the limit on the dusty, slippery and demanding track this afternoon.
- Anthony Davidson
- Takuma Sato
- ANTHONY DAVIDSON
- Saturday Practice: P21 1:34.591
Qualifying 1: P21 1:34.140
Qualifying 2: -
Qualifying 3: -
"A good day's Qualifying. I was happy with the balance of the car and I have always enjoyed the track here. Today it was good to us; we chased the car ahead closely right up until the end and there was only a few of tenths between me and Sutil. I really think that we have seen the limit of the car today, so we should all be pretty pleased."
- TAKUMA SATO
- Saturday Practice: P22 1:34.952
Qualifying 1: P22 1:35.725
Qualifying 2: -
Qualifying 3: -
"We made good progress as a result of the overnight changes and the car came together during Free Practice this morning and I was happy with the balance. During Qualifying my first run was a little bit slippery, but reasonable. I was much happier during my second run with the grip and I had a good feeling until the very last corner. Then I was touching on the outside kerb and the car ran wide and snapped quickly away from me. It is very disappointing that I could not complete Qualifying, but hopefully we will show strong pace for the race tomorrow."
- GRAHAM TAYLOR, Sporting Director
- "During Free Practice this morning both cars covered a good amount of work, especially for a race set-up, but we knew that we needed to work a little bit harder on the balance for Qualifying, with one of the tyres giving us some issues. In Qualifying everything was going according to plan, however, unfortunately Takuma was caught out at turn 15 and sustained some rear end damage, but Anthony did two very fine laps and we are looking forward to competing with the cars in front of us tomorrow."
Formula One World Championship
Round 03: Bahrain GP
|1||R KUBICA (BMW)|
|2||F MASSA (Ferrari)|
|3||L HAMILTON (McLaren-Mercedes)|
|4||K RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)|
|5||H KOVALAINEN (McLaren-Mercedes)|
|6||N HEIDFELD (BMW)|
|7||J TRULLI (Toyota)|
|8||N ROSBERG (Williams-Toyota)|
|9||J BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)|
|10||F ALONSO (Renault)|
|11||M WEBBER (Red Bull-Renault)|
|12||R BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)|
|13||T Glock (Toyota)|
|14||N Piquet (Renault)|
|15||S Bourdais (STR-Ferrari)|
|16||K NAKAJIMA (Williams-Toyota)|
|17||D COULTHARD (Red Bull-Renault)|
|18||G FISICHELLA (Force India-Ferrari)|
|19||S VETTEL (STR-Ferrari)|
|20||A SUTIL (Force India-Ferrari)|
|21||A DAVIDSON (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)|
|22||T SATO (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)|