Sato rues opening lap blunder

BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato was left to rue a poor sequence of opening corners which demoted him from third on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix down to eighth position by the end of the opening lap

Sato rues opening lap blunder

Sato would finish the race in sixth, one place behind team-mate Jenson Button, and also had concerns over his engine in the closing stages as he held off the Williams of Antonio Pizzonia.

"I had a difficult start," Sato admitted. "I got off the line reasonably okay but at Turn 1 I was outside Alonso and put a wheel off-line and into the dusty area. I lost traction and several cars managed to get by me over the next few corners as I lost momentum, so it was a tough opening lap. I did my best to recover then towards the end of the race we were a little bit concerned about falling oil pressure so we had to adapt."

Button said: "I'm a little bit disappointed because we came here expecting better things. I think we might not have put the best condition of tyres on at the first stop, so we lost a lot of time. I had a lot of oversteer which made it very difficult to drive and that's why Jarno was able to get so close to me.

"Once I made the decision to put a set of conditioned tyres on the balance was much better. My start was reasonable but I lost a couple of places to Alonso and Montoya, then I was able to get past Taku when he went a bit off-line. The main thing is that both cars finished in the points and we've edged that little bit closer to Renault in the championship."

Team principal David Richards said: "It was a very poor start from both our drivers and the race was determined from that point on. But we have edged a fraction closer to Renault; held station with Williams, and pulled away even further from McLaren. So we have to be pleased, even though the race itself was somewhat disappointing."

On the subject of the on-going wrangle over Jenson Button's position in the team for 2005, Richards said after the race: "It's up to the contract board now, so we will wait and see what its answer is."

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