Honda's Jenson Button will start the Italian Grand Prix at Monza from tenth place on the grid on Sunday, after making it through to Q3 for only the second time this season.

Button posted the 13th best time in Q1 in the rather dismal RA107 and then backed that up with an eighth best effort in Q2, before eventually having to settle for tenth in Q3.

Speaking following the session, the Englishman was happy with his performance, especially in light of the fact he has had an horrific run in qualifying in the last few events.

"I'm really pleased to have made it through into the top ten for the first time in quite a while," he noted.

"It took some time to really get to grips with the car this afternoon and it wasn't working well for the first few runs. However, we made improvements over the three sessions and got the best out of the car in the end. We've made changes to the front and rear suspension for this race, along with a different aero package, which is definitely helping us.

"Aero has been our main problem but we're not losing out too much with the low levels of drag that you need around Monza. The car is also looking after the tyres well which shows that it is mechanically sound.

"If I can get a good start from 10th tomorrow then we have to be aiming for the points. Strategy will be crucial and I'm confident we have a good race package, but it will also depend on the performance and reliability of the teams in front of us.

"This is a step forward and it has given a boost to everyone here and back at the factory and is a small reward for all the hard work."

Button's team-mate, Rubens Barrichello meanwhile also went well in the sister car and may well have joined the Brit in Q3 had it not been for an error in turn seven, when he was caught out by understeer and ran wide, losing valuable time across the gravel.

"We had the pace to get through to the final qualifying session so it was disappointing to just miss out today," said Barrichello, who will now start from 12th.

"My first flying lap was the one which really counted and I was already two-tenths up at Parabolica, but unfortunately I just got a little too close to [Alex] Wurz and the car lost downforce which cost me some time.

"On the second lap, the tyres had gone off a little but I had to push hard nonetheless as we had a good chance of getting through. I ran wide at turn seven and lost the opportunity. When I rejoined the track it was in front of [Giancarlo] Fisichella, who was on his crucial lap. I'm sorry if I caused him a problem but I had nowhere else to go in that situation other than to get back on track.

"We have to look at our performance today as an improvement; the car felt good around here, and P12 gives us a chance to fight for a point on Sunday," he concluded.

 

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