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F1 NEWS 

Drivers say upgraded Honda a step forward

Rubens Barrichello at the French GPHonda Racing believe their updated RA107 has delivered a step forward in performance, even though the team have not made big progress up the grid.

Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello failed to make it into the final top ten in qualifying, but neither men was too disheartened that the much-heralded revamp of their car had not delivered more performance.

"It's always so tight here at Magny Cours during qualifying and we saw that again today," said Button, who will start 12th. "We have made a step forward and the car is certainly better than at the last race in Indianapolis, although our position doesn't really reflect that.

"It's nice to be in front of some of our direct competitors in the midfield though. Looking ahead to tomorrow, our race pace is definitely better than our one-lap pace; you could see that in practice yesterday.

"We will keep working towards the race and I think we have a good strategy, so I am hopeful that we can have a better result tomorrow."

Teammate Rubens Barrichello, who will start 16h, added: "The car was definitely better in qualifying this afternoon after I made some changes during morning practice when we weren't really happy with the set-up.

"We took a little bit of a gamble but it resulted in a more balanced set-up and I think we worked hard to get the most from the car today. We know that our long-run pace is strong so I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.""

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