Exclusive - Button and Barrichello on 2007 06 Nov 2007
After being one of the success stories of last year, Honda fell on hard times in 2007. Despite the occasional bright spot, the Japanese teams stark results tell the real story - the 86 world championship points scored in 06 dwindled to just six over this years 17 races.
Down on their luck and with a car as slow as it was unwieldy, Honda - and their two drivers - endured a largely torrid time. Here Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello offer their unique perspective on a frustrating season and explain how they plan to pick themselves up over the winter break
Jenson Button, Honda
Championship position: 15th (6 points)
Best race result: 5th (x1), Best qualifying: 6th (x1)
It goes without saying that 2007 has been a very tough season for me and the Honda Racing F1 Team. However, a year like this brings out the real character of a team. Weve had to pull together, keep motivated and try as hard as we can even though the performance of the car was far from what we expected. Im pleased that we were able to do that and achieve points finishes when others had faster cars and didnt.
Fighting from further back on the grid has actually been quite fun in the second half of the year, particularly in Turkey, Italy and China where I managed to do a lot of overtaking. This all helps to develop your race craft for the future.
We know where we went wrong with this car and the team will be back at the factory over the winter working very hard to give Rubens and myself a more competitive car for next year. For my part, I will be focusing as always on my physical fitness and preparation for the new season, and we will hope to make a fresh and positive start to 2008.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda
Championship position: 20th (0 points)
Best race result: 9th (x1), Best qualifying: 9th (x1)
The 2007 season has seen one of the most exciting championship battles of recent years and it was fantastic for Formula One that the fight went all the way to the last race in my home city of Sao Paulo.
For myself and the Honda Racing F1 Team, it has been a challenging year to say the least. We knew from the start of the season that the RA107 would not be on the pace and it was such a disappointment, particularly after the team ended the previous season in 2006 so strongly.
Having said that, the season has been a learning experience for the team and I am very proud of the way that we have all pulled together and worked through the difficult times. I am disappointed not to have scored any points this year as but for some bad luck at key times, we should have been in the points on at least a couple of occasions. At the front of the grid, Massa, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Alonso particularly have put on a really good show for the fans and I only wish that Jenson and I could have had a better car to have competed amongst the front runners.
Looking ahead to next season, we will be working very hard over the winter and pre-season to improve our position for the 2008 season. The team has done a lot of growing together this year, and with some of the new faces who have joined to strengthen our resources back at the factory, I am optimistic that there will be an improvement in our performance next year. For myself, the 2008 season will make my 16th season in Formula One and I am very proud that it will also be the year in which I pass Riccardo Patreses record number of Grand Prix starts.