Formula1 -HONDA RACING F1 Team - AUSTRALIAN GP: QUALIFYING

Formula1 -HONDA RACING F1 Team - AUSTRALIAN GP: QUALIFYING

01.04.2006: Formula1 -HONDA RACING F1 Team - AUSTRALIAN GP: QUALIFYING



The Honda Racing F1 Team is celebrating in Melbourne today after Jenson Button delivered the team’s first pole position of the 2006 season at the end of a tumultuous qualifying session for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.

Jenson was "shaking with excitement" after snatching pole in the most frenzied session yet under the new knock-out system. Two red flags and a sudden shower had made the track action even more frantic than usual and Jenson delivered a flying lap when it mattered most to achieve the third pole of his career.

There were a few surprise exits early in the session as the red flags wreaked havoc. Unfortunately Rubens Barrichello was one such casualty after the first session was restarted and the entire field attempted to set a flying lap in the closing minutes. A frustrated Rubens, who had been having a good weekend up until that point, was unable to achieve a clean lap unhindered by traffic and qualified a disappointing 17th.



JENSON BUTTON

"It’s a fantastic feeling to be on pole here after such a manic qualifying session for everybody. With two red flags and the rain shower half way through, it was very difficult to stay calm and get our thoughts together. That’s exactly what we did though and I’m so thrilled for the team. This is a very special moment for everyone in Honda as it’s the first pole since they returned to works team status. I know all eyes will be on us for tomorrow but we didn’t get much running done in race trim today. We know we’re quick over a lap but we will only know how competitive we really are when we leave the grid tomorrow. All we can do now is give it our very best shot, aim for a faultless race and make the most of every situation."

RUBENS BARRICHELLO

"I’m obviously very disappointed with how qualifying went for me today because everything was running much more smoothly for us and the team have done a good job all weekend. At the end of the day, I just lost out to traffic after the restart in the first session. We have a tough mountain to climb tomorrow but we’ll see what we can do to challenge for points nonetheless."



GIL DE FERRAN
Sporting Director

"We are absolutely delighted that Jenson is on pole for the first time this season. Both car and engine were working well as a result of some changes we made overnight and he pulled out all the stops to produced a fantastic lap. However, all three sessions were nerve-wracking to say the least and at no point did we feel entirely comfortable with our position. It all started with the red flag in the first session, which unfortunately caught Rubens out on his new tyre run. Subsequently, his best lap was ruined by traffic and he ran out of time. Disappointing, but we know he has the pace to have a good race tomorrow. The excitement continued with yet another red flag prior to Jenson setting a time at all, but thankfully he was able to get a clear enough gap before it started sprinkling in the dying minutes of the session. That weather uncertainty pushed us into setting a lap time early in the third session, and once it was clear that there was no longer the threat of rain, we focused on getting Jenson into clear air for his last new tyres. The rest is history! Obviously this is the best possible position to be in going into the race but let’s see what tomorrow brings!"

SHUHEI NAKAMOTO Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development

"Well done to Jenson for an excellent qualifying session. He reeled off some consistently quick laps before putting in a fantastic effort for his pole position. Rubens was unlucky to get stuck behind a slower car in the first qualifying session but still has every chance of a good race tomorrow. Both engines have been fine, and we’re excited about tomorrow’s race."

Weather
Drying track for qualifying, showers during morning
Air: 18-19°C / Track: 24-31°C



SATURDAY PRACTICE

1 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber-BMW) 1:35.335
2 Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber-BMW) 1:36.281
3 Vitantonio Liuzzi (STR-Cosworth) 1:36.373
4 Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) 1:36.414
5 Ralf Schumacher (Toyota) 1:36.445
6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:36.506
7 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1:37.332
8 Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1 Team) 1:37.481
9 Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:37.492
10 Scott Speed (STR-Cosworth) 1:37.852
11 Christian Klien (RBR-Ferrari) 1:37.947
12 Mark Webber (Williams-Cosworth) 1:38.036
13 Jenson Button (Honda Racing F1 Team) 1:38.505
14 David Coulthard (RBR-Ferrari) 1:38.683
15 Nico Rosberg (Williams-Cosworth) 1:39.401
16 Tiago Monteiro (MF1-Toyota) 1:39.515
17 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:39.654
18 Yuji Ide (Super Aguri-Honda) 1:40.261
19 Takuma Sato (Super Aguri-Honda) 1:41.448
20 Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren-Mercedes) 1:44.350
21 Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes) 1:48.284
22 Christijan Albers (MF1-Toyota)

SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Jenson Button Honda Racing F1 1:25.229 Q3
Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:25.635 Q3
Fernando Alonso Renault 1:25.778 Q3
Kimi Raikkonen McLaren 1:25.822 Q3
Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren 1:25.976 Q3
Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:26.612 Q3
Mark Webber Williams 1:26.937 Q3
Nick Heidfeld Sauber 1:27.579 Q3
Jacques Villeneuve Sauber 1:29.239 Q3 (Engine)
Jarno Trulli Toyota -No Time Q3
Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:26.327 Q2
David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1:27.023 Q2
Vitantonio Liuzzi Torro Rosso 1:27.219 Q2
Christian Klien Red Bull Racing 1:27.591 Q2
Nico Rosberg Williams 1:29.422 Q2
Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:28.868 Q2
Rubens Barrichello Honda Racing F1 1:29.943 Q1
Christijan Albers MF1 Racing 1:30.426 Q1
Scott Speed Torro Rosso 1:30.426 Q1
Tiago Monteiro MF1 Racing 1:30.709 Q1
Takuma Sato Super Aguri F1 1:32.279 Q1
Yuji Ide Super Aguri F1 1:36.164 Q1



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01.04.2006 / MaP

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