Honda enjoyed its best qualifying performance of the year at the Bahrain International Circuit today. Jenson Button achieved his target of a top ten grid slot when he posted the ninth fastest lap, while team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start tomorrow’s 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix from 12th position.
Button 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 fifth place overall. Barrichello also completed two runs and his best lap, 1:32.944s, placed him in ninth position.
The track conditions improved throughout qualifying, which resulted in both drivers improving their lap times in Q2. Button’s best lap, 1:32.362s, was his fastest of the weekend so far and placed him tenth, while Barrichello was just 0.2s behind.
Q. You must be pleased with your qualifying performance? Did you maximise the current performance of the RA108?“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?“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."
Q. How would you sum up your qualifying session today?"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?“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."