|Honda Racing F1 Team
The Honda Racing F1 Team scored its first World Championship points of the season in the Spanish Grand Prix, when Jenson Button finished in sixth position. A tenacious drive from the Briton, plus some astute strategy calls from the team’s pitwall, saw him climb through the field from 13th position on the grid.
Jenson drove a 29-lap middle stint, which was longer than any other driver, which helped him to climb up the order from 13th to fifth. He dropped just one position during his second and final pitstop on lap 54, and he crossed the line in sixth place to secure three Championship points for the team.
After a strong start from 11th on the grid, team-mate Rubens Barrichello’s race ended with disappointment. The Brazilian ran as high as sixth in the early stages, before retiring with extensive bodywork damage resulting from a pit lane collision with Giancarlo Fisichella on lap 24.
Q. Congratulations on securing your first points of the season. How was your race?
A. "It was a good race for us today and I'm really pleased to finish in 6th with three points. Unfortunately the safety car came out at the wrong time for us, although I am pleased to hear that Heikki is okay. I was on a long first stint so it was bad timing and definitely cost me some places. The car was working well with the balance improving lap by lap, particularly on the last stint with harder tyres where I felt very comfortable. The team are doing a really good job and we are benefitting from Ross' technical management."
Q. What can you now expect from the Turkish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time?
A. “I got a really good feel for the new aero package during the race today and it is definitely an improvement. The good thing is that what we are seeing from the car reflects the information from the wind tunnel. This circuit is not the best for our car as it's a bumpy circuit here and we seem to lack some driveability over the bumps. When we get to the next race in Turkey, I expect the car to perform better than here."
Q. A disappointing end to what could have been a strong race for you today?
A. "The car was performing well today so it was especially disappointing that the incident in the pitlane with Fisichella brought my race to an end. From what we can see, it was just one of those unfortunate incidents. The team released me and advised me of traffic, so I stayed out of the fast lane. Fisichella overtook me and cut into his box clipping my front wing at the same time. I managed to get round the lap with the wing caught under the front of the car but unfortunately the damage caused to the bodywork was too great to continue and I was forced to retire. It's a shame as I could have scored some good points today."
Q. Taking the weekend as a whole, how do you feel about the improvements made to the RA108?
A. "We have certainly made a step forward in performance this weekend. The new aero package has performed well and although it took some tuning this week to ensure that we achieved the optimum set-up, the car was well balanced and performing well in the race. There is still a long way to go but it is encouraging to know that we are improving step by step. I look forward to the next few races and hope that we can continue to make progress."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. Honda’s first points of the season. You must be delighted?
A. “The whole team is delighted to score some points as we embark on the European season and it is just reward after the tremendous efforts made by everyone. We have made a good step forward with the new upgrade package and today’s result reflects all the hard work that the team have put into developing the car since the start of the season. We are making good progress, which is encouraging for the rest of the season and for the future. I really feel that all elements of the team, chassis and engine are beginning to gel.”
Q. What will Honda be doing to maintain the momentum?
A. “We have a number of smaller developments to introduce over the next few races, to tailor the package to the varying characteristics of the forthcoming circuits, and at the same time we will be working hard on the development of our next substantial upgrade for Silverstone.”
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM
SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM experienced mixed fortunes at the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix. Takuma Sato took the checkered flag in 13th position, the team’s highest placing of the season to date, whilst Anthony Davidson was forced to retire his SA08A in the opening stages of the race due to an overheating issue resulting from a pierced water radiator.
“It was a hard race, but I enjoyed it. The start was reasonably good and I overtook a few
cars. Ahead of me a few cars had a coming together and I could not avoid them and lost
part of the nose, which then obviously affected my aero balance. The team said that the
car looked okay, so we just fought our way through the rest of the race. At one stage we
were up in the middle, running as high as ninth, and that was a fantastic feeling. The boys
did a great job under difficult circumstances this weekend. I am very happy for them and
all the people who are supporting us and I just hope that we can keep this momentum
“It was a disappointing end to the weekend for me. After Piquet ran wide at the beginning
of the race he dragged a lot of gravel on to the track and a stone from that then damaged
my water radiator, putting me out of the race. I got a good start and felt comfortable in
the car up to that point, so it is a shame to have retired so early, but I’d like to thank
everyone in the team for their hard work and determination this weekend.”
AGURI SUZUKI, Team Principal
“It was a tough race with only just over half of the competitors crossing the finish line.
Despite the fact that we did not attend the test here last week, both drivers and all the
mechanics and engineers have done a great job today. I am sorry for Anthony as he
retired due to damage to his radiator, but he did a great job at the start. Taku had a very
good race in a difficult situation and came home in 13th position, which is our best result
so far this season. It has been a difficult weekend for everybody in our team and I would
like to thank our partners and the fans for their continued support.”