It was a race of mixed fortunes for the Honda Racing F1 Team in today’s European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in Germany.
Rubens Barrichello crossed the line in 5th place to take four Championship points, but Jenson’s race was brought to a premature conclusion after he suffered an engine failure on lap 29.
Jenson got a good start off the line, moving up from his 6th place grid slot to 4th by turn four. Rubens lost places off the grid and was running 7th until a perfectly executed pitstop put him back out on track in 5th position which, despite some pressure, he maintained until the end of the race.
“A disappointing end to a fairly tough weekend really. I got a strong start and had a good tussle with Raikkonen through turns 1, 2 and 3 before I got ahead of him to take 4th. The car was inconsistent throughout the race. Some of it was down to the wind – it was quite gusty out there today – but the balance wasn’t there and it was changing corner to corner. In my second stint it was starting to come good as the fuel came down and I would have been happy to finish 5th with a car I wasn’t happy with and get four points. Instead, I had a big loss of power, the engine tightened and I lost drive so had to pull over. Let’s hope for better things in Spain.”
“5th is not what we were hoping for but at the end of the day we didn’t have the pace. I was struggling with the balance of the car and it was just a case of surviving and doing the best we could. Because of that I’m pleased that we at least have some points but we have to hope for better things for Barcelona.”
GIL DE FERRAN
“More points, however not as many as we were hoping for going into this afternoon. Rubens drove a good race, battling hard all day and especially at the end, to score his best finish for our team yet. Unfortunately we had an engine failure with Jenson and he was unable to capitalise on a good start and first half of the race. Generally speaking we lacked pace with both cars. With just one week before the next race in Spain we will not have the benefit of testing, however we will be analysing our performance this weekend in great detail with a view to finding some improvement going into the next round.”
Management Board Member – Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director – Honda Racing Development
“Clearly a bit of a mixed day. It was good to see Rubens racing so hard and collecting some good points for the team. We will have to get to the bottom of the engine failure on Jenson’s car as soon as we can – definitely in time for Barcelona.”