Sato to lose 10 grid positions

BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato will be docked 10 places on the grid after Saturday's qualifying for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after suffering an engine blow-out in today's (Friday) second free practice session

Sato to lose 10 grid positions

Sato only completed nine laps in the first session so not only will he lose positions on the grid, he has also failed to collect vital data on his car putting back his set-up programme, an unfortunate handicap on a circuit that no cars have been around before.

"It has been a very disappointing first day for me because we had an engine failure on the out-lap of the second session, which means I haven't had the opportunity to complete a timed lap and I will have to move back 10 places from my qualifying position tomorrow," he said. "Because this is a new track, we have lost crucial running time and we have a lot of work to do to prepare for tomorrow morning."

It wasn't all doom and gloom for BAR on the opening day, though, far from it. Third driver Anthony Davidson dominated the day's action by topping the times in both practice sessions. Team-mate Jenson Button set the second fastest time of the day to put BAR firmly on top while rivals Renault, who is battling it out with BAR for second in the constructors' championship, were down in 13th and 15th positions.

"I am reasonably happy with today's running and the work we have achieved for our race preparation," Button said. "It's disappointing that we have been unable to get the information that we wanted from Taku's car or the tyre comparison from Anthony over the longer runs. However, the car seems to be working well here and I am enjoying the circuit. Despite the ups and downs of the day, I'm looking forward to hopefully extending our lead over Renault."

Team boss David Richards added: "It is certainly a good start to the weekend being at the top of the timesheets in both sessions today. Taku's engine failure was disappointing for him, but I know that Honda are continually extending the boundaries of performance, and we must be prepared for the unexpected."

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