Honda: we have a huge amount of work to do

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Honda admitted that there was nothing more their drivers could have done after the team suffered their worst result of the season in Hungary on Sunday. Rubens Barrichello finished last, two laps down on the leaders, whilst Jenson Button retired with mechanical problems halfway through the race.

It followed an equally difficult qualifying session for the Japanese squad, with neither Button nor Barrichello making it past Q1, and going on to start 17th and 18th respectively on the Hungaroring grid.

"This has been a weekend to forget,” admitted engineering director, Jacky Eeckelaert. “Quite simply, we did not have the race pace here. On the first lap Rubens lost some places when he ran wide at turn two. Thereafter, having started 18th on the grid, it was just a case of getting to the end of the race and looking for opportunities. There was nothing more he could have done with the car today.”

Eeckelaert added that it was a similar story for Button, who also battled with poor balance on his RA107 until a throttle sensor problem curtailed his Grand Prix on lap 36. The result means Button’s eighth place in France last month remains the team’s only 2007 point-scoring finish.

To add insult to injury, Honda found themselves beaten by backmarkers Spyker, and a glance at the fastest lap chart reveals just how big a mountain the team have to climb if they are to start challenging their mid-field rivals. Barrichello’s best time, on lap 34, put him 17th in the order, while Button languished in 21st.

“Everyone at the team is feeling the pain at the moment,” said Barrichello. “We know how bad the situation is but we have to keep our heads up and keep working at it over the break to find some improvements."

With no testing between now and the Turkish Grand Prix at the end of August, Honda will have to rely on factory-based development to try and improve their lot. “We have three weeks before the next race and a huge amount of work to do in that time," concluded Eeckelaert.

Honda’s single point puts them ninth in the constructors’ championship standings, three points behind Honda-powered rivals Super Aguri.