Jenson on the button

Jenson Button, Bahrain GP 2006

Jenson Button, Bahrain GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

It was only in the last few minutes of the third session in Bahrain began to give us a clearer picture of the relative competitiveness of the various teams this year. In the final pre-qualifying dash Jenson Button emerged ahead in his Honda, squeezing out Michael Schumacher by 0.011s. The two Renaults of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella were ominously close to the front, both being just a tenth of a second off pole but with Jacques Villeneuve and Jarno Trulli sixth and seventh quickest there were still questions as to whether or not we have seen the ultimate pace of all concerned. Kimi Raikkonen was eighth quickest in his McLaren and Ralf Schumacher ninth for Toyota with Mark Webber rounding off the top 10 for Williams.

Further back were Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing), Rubens Barrichello (Honda), Nick Heidfeld (BMW), David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing), Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren), Nico Rosberg (Williams), Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro (MF1), the obviously sandbagging Scuderia Toro Rosso of Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed (which went considerably faster on Friday) and the two Super Aguris at the back of the grid.

Qualifying will give us a better indication of what to expect.