Chinese GP - Honda - RaceJenson Button
boosted the Honda’s championship tally by four crucial points today when he brought his RA107 home in fifth position in China. He delivered an exceptional performance in the wet-dry race, once again demonstrating his prowess in challenging
weather conditions to achieve the team’s best performance of the season. Rubens Barrichello
meanwhile endured a tough race to finish in 15th position.
Conditions were hot, wet and humid for the start of the 56-lap race at the Shanghai International Circuit. Both Honda drivers started the race on the Bridgestone Potenza wet tyre and Jenson lost one position away from the line to end the opening lap in 11th place. He spent the next 23 laps mixing it in the midfield until making his first pitstop on lap 24, when he became one of the first drivers to switch to dry tyres.
For the next 18 laps Button charged through the field, setting a series of fastest lap times. He immediately found grip which enabled him to climb up to fourth place by the time of his second and final pitstop on lap 42. He rejoined the race in sixth place and when Fisichella pitted ahead of him he moved into fifth, which is where he ended the race.
Barrichello's race was compromised on lap two when he was running in 15th place. As he braked for turn one, he had a coming together with Anthony Davidson and he dropped to the back of the field.
On lap 25 he made his first pitstop and switched to dry tyres, but he made the decision to return to the pits for wets on the following lap when it started to rain again.
The shower was short-lived and he found himself on the wrong tyre for the rapidly drying track conditions. He made a third stop later on lap 31 and he crossed the line in 15th place.Jenson Button
"A fantastic race today and I'm very happy to come away with four points and our best result of the season. I struggled at the start of the race as the car was not working well in the wet conditions and I had no grip, so I ended up slipping back through the field. When the track dried out we decided to pit and go for the dry option tyre and a light fuel load. From then I started setting fastest laps which was a great feeling. It was a fun race with a lot of overtaking and very close driving. it is very satisfying to come away with some good points today."Rubens Barrichello
"Unfortunately we made one decision too many this afternoon, which compromised the possibility of a good race. When the rain started after my first pit stop, I thought it would be wet for the remainder of the race, so I came in for wet tyres again but this proved to be the wrong choice just a few laps later. A disappointing end to the weekend but I look forward now to my home grand prix in Brazil in two weeks time."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director
“Two wet races in seven days have made the Asian rounds an exciting challenge. This time the track conditions were good for the wet tyre and only one team opted for the extreme wet, which was clearly not appropriate to the conditions. At the start of the race our cars struggled to keep pace with the cars around us as we were on a heavy fuel load. After everybody pitted for dry tyres it started to rain again and Rubens opted for wets. This was a gamble and the rain stopped after only two laps, so Rubens had to do an extra pit-stop which ruined his hopes of a points finish. Jenson also had to pit earlier than planned as the track was too dry for the wet tyres; therefore we could not take advantage of our planned one-stop strategy. After losing some positions with a heavy car in the first part of the race, he drove a storming race to finish in a fine fifth position. It’s a nice feeling for the team to score some points again.”