The Honda Racing F1 Team picked up two more World Championship points yesterday afternoon when Rubens Barrichello finished seventh in a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix. Jenson Button, who started the 70-lap race from the pitlane, came home in 11th place.
Rubens drove a tenacious race from start-to-finish. After starting ninth, his track position was helped on lap 17 by the deployment of the safety car, which resulted in the front-runners pitting and then crashing into each other at the exit of the pitlane. Rubens stayed out and ran second to Heidfeld, before leading the race for seven laps ahead of his only pitstop of the race on lap 36.
Once the race had settled down, Rubens was running fourth when battling with a lack of grip which caused him to run wide going into turn 4 on lap 59. This enabled Glock and Trulli to squeeze through, dropping him to sixth. Rubens battled hard to defend his position in the remaining 11 laps and whilst Massa got by, he managed to keep Vettel at bay to cross the line in seventh position.
Jenson, meanwhile, faced an uphill struggle from the pitlane. He ended theopening lap in 20th place, before battling his way up to seventh positionprior to making his final pitstop on lap 53. He rejoined in 11th place wherehe remained for the duration of the race.
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Rubens Barrichello 17 RA108-04 P7 01:18.301 Jenson Button 16 RA108-02 P11 01:19.352
Weather Warm and dry Temperatures Air: 26-28°C Track: 34-42°C
Q. Congratulations on another two points today but a tough race for youphysically? A. "I'm pleased with the two points today, particularly as we thought ourchances of a points finish were slim when we started the weekend. It was avery tough race and I have not been feeling well since yesterday due to acold, which made it an even tougher physical challenge. We were running wellon the prime tyre for the first part of the race and the safety carcertainly helped to improve our track position. Unfortunately when weswitched to the option tyre after my one and only stop and with a heavy fuelload, I was really struggling with a lack of grip. I went off the track onthe marbles and lost a couple of positions at turns three and four, which isa shame. Yesterday I didn't know if I was going to be well enough to race,so all things considered we did a good job today and I'm pleased to keep upthe points-scoring momentum from Monaco."
Q. This had all the makings of a challenging race for the team andunfortunately things didn't go your way this weekend? A. "It was a very tough and ultimately disappointing race today. It's alwaysdifficult starting from the back of the grid and we were using a set-up thatwe hadn't run previously this weekend. Things didn't quite go our way withthe strategy and safety car which meant I was unable to make any progress upthe field by the end of the race. We need to get our heads down now and workhard to make improvements before France to ensure that we are morecompetitive there."
ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
Q. Today's Canadian Grand Prix produced mixed results for the two drivers,however two more points for the team and Rubens. Tell us about the race.
A. "Rubens was fuelled long on a fairly typical strategy. The early safetycar was deployed at the ideal moment for him, forcing the two stopping carsin front of him to pit. The incident in the pit lane also served to take outthree of the faster cars and open up the points paying positions further. Atthe restart Rubens was able to pull out a little gap, although losing aplace to Coulthard was inevitable. Rubens had done a great job in qualifyingand we knew the race would be defensive, especially fuelled heavily on theoption tyre in the second half of the race. Sadly his one small mistake, dueto a lack of grip, cost him two positions. He then had to succumb to theadvancing Massa and he dropped to seventh. With Jenson, we swapped the tyresin the safety car period, so he did not need to run on the weaker optionlater. For him the safety car just did not open the race enough to enablehim to get into the points." Q. How will you be preparing for your return to Europe? A. "We always knew this was going to be a tough race for us but we made thebest of the opportunities and came away with more points. That is theapproach we need to maintain. We are heading to Barcelona next week ahead ofthe French Grand Prix in Magny Cours, where the higher downforcecharacteristics of this track and potentially high temperatures will suitour car better."