Honda duo Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello enjoyed a solid start to on track action for the Monaco Grand Prix during the opening practice sessions on Thursday.

Eager to try and make progress in the principality after a difficult start to the season which has seen both drivers fail to score in the four races held so far, the pair ended the first day of running just outside the top ten, with Barrichello posting the eleventh quickest time and Button one place further back.

Having made revisions to the car during testing at Paul Ricard in an effort to improve competitiveness, Barrichello admitted that he felt progress had been made during the two session around the Monte Carlo streets although he said there was plenty of date for the team to check during Friday ahead of a return to on-track action on Saturday.

"As is always the case here, the track was very dirty today," the Brazilian said. "The teams are all trying different things so it's hard to get a true idea of where we are in the field. I think we can see from our running though that we have made some progress, so I am pleased with the day.

"We did a lot of running and have a huge amount of information to work with, which combined with our test data gives us plenty of work to do during tomorrow's 'day off'. I am hopeful for a more positive weekend and looking forward to it. It's always great to race in Monaco."

Team-mate Button agreed that the day had proved to be productive for the team as it continues to bring the RA107 up to speed although he admitted that the key to the weekend ahead would be to stay out of trouble if a first points finish of the season is to be achieved.

"Not a bad day overall," the Briton reflected. "We achieved everything we set out to achieve and it has been quite productive. Monaco is always very exciting and fun to drive. As we saw today, there can be a lot of incidents which can make it difficult to get clean runs, so the trick is obviously to stay out of trouble. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

 

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