Sato says BAR is strong

BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato believes that the team can operate at the same level as it did at Hockenheim three weeks ago, when Jenson Button scored second place, in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix

Sato says BAR is strong

Japanese star Sato was sixth fastest on the opening day of free practice at the Hungaroring, almost three-tenths faster than team-mate Jenson Button.

"I'm happy with our performance today and I think this is a good indication of how strong we will be this weekend," said Sato. "I haven't driven the new circuit before as the track was changed for last year when I wasn't racing, so I had some acclimatisation to do this morning.

"The car is very strong though and I think we should be on similar pace as we were in Germany three weeks ago. I have come back from the three week break feeling physically and mentally relaxed and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."

Team-mate Button, who is with the team for the first time since announcing he wants to leave for Williams next year, said: "I'm really pleased to be back on track after the three week break. I'm focusing purely on the Hungarian Grand Prix, which promises to be a very exciting race for us, not least because the weather is throwing up some surprises.

"As is always the case here, the track conditions were very dusty this morning and Anthony did most of the running in the second session. This afternoon gave us a better opportunity to evaluate the tyres and start to work on set-up. The car is looking strong though and we now have to continue working towards our objective of a podium here this weekend."

Third driver Anthony Davidson, usually a Friday pacesetter, was only 12th fastest after being third fastest in the morning session.

"I had a very good morning session and was pleased to be up there with the Ferraris," he said. "The track started to clean up this afternoon and we could have improved a lot, but I struck the inside kerb at turn five a bit too hard and had to come in, which lost me track time and the chance of a better lap."

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