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The Honda Racing F1 Team's Jenson Button ended today's United States Grand Prix in 12th position. His team-mate Rubens Barrichello's race ended after a first corner incident in which he tried to avoid Ralf Schumacher's spin and clashed with two other cars. Rubens came into the pits where the team retired him with a broken wishbone and push rod. The damage was too extensive to repair during the race.
Jenson struggled with understeer during the first stint and at his pit stop it was clear that he had sustained quite a lot of damage to the front of the car and the right-hand sidepod and flick-up, which compromised the aerodynamic performance of his car. During the stop the team had a fuel rig pressure valve failure which cost him time in the pitlane and he also received too much fuel, causing him to run heavy in the second stint.
Jenson Button: "It was a fun race today but ultimately another disappointing afternoon for us. At the start I was on the outside and I was hit by Rubens, which damaged the front of my car along with the bodywork. That forced me across the grass and left me almost at the back of the field which was disappointing. Still it was a fun race with some good overtaking until my pit stop, when we had a problem with the fuel rig which cost me time and then I had about 15kg too much fuel in the car which compromised the rest of the race. We were just off the pace again and we now have a lot of work to do next week in Jerez to move our performance on."
Rubens Barrichello: "I think it was just an unlucky first corner racing incident today. I tried to avoid a spinning Ralf and unfortunately hit two cars, one of which was Jenson. The contact broke my front suspension and that was it for me today. Sadly Jenson's car was damaged as well. We have an important test next week in Jerez, so the team just has to look forward now and focus on improving our performance for the rest of the season." Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "Rubens got a good start which allowed him to overtake Rosberg and get on equal terms with Ralf Schumacher. Unfortunately he was involved in a first corner incident which ended his race as the damage to his suspension was beyond repair. Jenson also lost five places in the same incident and sustained damage to the right hand side bodywork which compromised the aerodynamic performance of his car. Despite this he was able to make up six places before his pitstop. At the stop we had a pressure release valve failure on the fuel rig and switching to the second rig lost Jenson precious seconds in the pitlane. The midfield was very close so this lost Jenson three places. Both rigs delivered fuel at the stop so he was also running too heavy in the second stint which compromised his pace during the rest of the race."
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