Honda Powers Jenson Button to Best-Ever Finish
April 25, 2004 San Marino
Starting from pole position at Imola, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jenson Button drove another spectacular race to bring his B.A.R Honda 006 home in second place, his third consecutive podium finish, at the 24th San Marino Grand Prix. Takuma Sato made a lightening start from seventh on the grid, running in fourth position until the first round of pit stops, but his race ultimately ended just six laps from the chequered flag.
The German continued to edge further ahead of Button, both drivers holding their track positions after smoothly executing their third and final pit stops on lap 44 (Button) and 46 (Schumacher). There was no change up front for the remaining 16 laps, as the Ferrari and B.A.R Honda stars settled down and went for consistent and comfortable lap times around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. Button's superb second placed finish today secured the Briton eight world championship points for the first time in his career, as he notched up a sensational hat-trick of podium finishes.
Having lost out during the first round of pit stops, Sato was running in eighth place by lap 10 behind Fernando Alonso's Renault and went on to have a fairly uneventful second stint, running consistently in eighth position, pitting as scheduled on lap 28 and 43. Ultimately though, Sato's challenge was unfulfilled, the B.A.R Honda driver being denied eighth as his car stopped on track with an engine failure on lap 57.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development "Jenson has been immense all weekend. To take pole the way he did and then drive so strongly all race really demonstrates his ability and also his obvious confidence in the car. Taku had to battle hard for the whole race with difficulties but stuck to his task very well and I am sorry the engine eventually stopped. Although we have made a good step this weekend, we have to find the same again to challenge for the top."