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Honda enjoy qualifying resurgence in Italy 08 Sep 2007

Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007

After several tough months, Honda finally had something to celebrate on Saturday after Jenson Button qualified tenth for the Italian Grand Prix. It will be the team’s first top-ten start since May’s Monaco round.

“I'm really pleased to have made it through into the top ten for the first time in quite a while,” said Button. “We've made changes to the front and rear suspension for this race, along with a different aero package, which is definitely helping us. This is a step forward and it has given a boost to everyone here and back at the factory and is a small reward for all the hard work.”

The English driver has looked pretty quick all weekend, scoring sixth-fastest time during the first Friday practice, and both Button and team mate Rubens Barrichello looked confident during the opening phase of qualifying. During Q2, however, it looked as though the Brazilian had the upper hand, as he launched himself up to eighth.

But a scorching late lap - combined with a mistake from Barrichello - saw Button leap up the order, displacing Red Bull’s Mark Webber and his erstwhile team mate to 11th and 12th respectively. In Q3 Honda seemed to forgo faster pace for a heavier fuel load and Button finished over sixth-tenths off Jarno Trulli’s ninth-placed Toyota.

“If I can get a good start from 10th tomorrow then we have to be aiming for the points,” added Button. “Strategy will be crucial and I'm confident we have a good race package, but it will also depend on the performance and reliability of the teams in front of us.”

Just one point in Sunday’s race would be enough to double Honda’s 2007 tally to date. They lie ninth in the constructors’ standings.