Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello brought their cars home in 12th and 16th places respectively in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix. Whilst the team were unable to add to their points tally, the weekend has brought a small step forward in terms of performance following the introduction of new car developments.
At the start, the clean side of the grid proved to hold a big advantage. Barrichello made a strong get-away from 17th to be 13th by turn one, while Button got bogged down in the dust surrounding his 12th place grid position and ended the opening lap in 14th place.
Running on the prime tyre, both drivers were held up by Heidfeld for the early stages of the race. Button made his first pitstop on lap 32, from which he emerged in 15th place. Barrichello's first stop a couple of laps later proved to be the defining moment of his race because he was delayed by a problem while refuelling and dropped to 19th position. Both RA108s were once again on Bridgestone's harder tyre for this middle segment of the race and both lapped consistently and quickly, as they had on their long runs during Friday practice.
The team's second and final pitstops passed smoothly when both drivers switched to the option tyre. Button stopped on lap 52, rejoining the race in 13th place; Barrichello stopped two laps later and ran in 17th position until the chequered flag on lap 70.
Jenson Button"Looking at the weekend as a whole, we have made good progress and can take a lot away from here. Unfortunately the race was frustrating. I made it tough for myself with a poor start, which dropped me down to P14 after the first couple of corners. I got boxed in at Turn 1 and had a lot of wheelspin out of the corner, which allowed a few people to get past on the outside. I was able to get past Rubens on lap three, which was fun, but after that I quickly came up to the back of Heidfeld. He was very strong on the last two corners so I had no chance to overtake on the track and he was on a one-stop strategy. However in clean air, our pace was good, so this weekend is a definite step forward and I am reasonably happy with the outcome."
Rubens Barrichello"After a good start where I made up four positions on the opening lap, unfortunately it wasn't a very exciting race for me. We decided to start with used front and new rear tyres which proved to be a problem as the car was out of balance for the first stint. Then at my first pitstop we were unlucky to have the problem with the rig which resulted in a small fire and a long delay whilst we got fuel into the car using the second rig. After that, my race was effectively over as the number of blue flags made it impossible to make progress. We decided to drop the revs on the engine and do some testing with the tyres as we had overheating problems over the weekend and it was good to collect some data on this. For me the actual race was one to forget really."