Jenson Button says that he is not happy with the performance of his Brawn Mercedes car today, the first day of practice in Barcelona.
The car is equipped with the new aerodynamic package, the team’s first major development step since the season started. It features a new engine cover, new floor and new bodywork around the rear suspension. It is supposed to have given around three to four tenths of a second to the car. Rubens Barrichello was fourth today and is happy with his car. It looks very much as though it is still the strongest car out there, as they had plenty of fuel on board to record the lap times they did, compared to the cars in front today, the two Williams and Alonso’s Renault.
Button, however, has some problems. His fastest time in practice 2 was two tenths slower than Barrichello’s and he is playing catch up before tomorrow’s qualifying session. Barrichello has always been strong here and will give Button a stern challenge all weekend.
A few of us caught up with Button after the session and he was asked whether he is thinking about the championship yet?
“It‘s only when I’m asked the question,” he said. “Every race I go to I’m thinking about how well I can do that weekend. It’s about not thinking too far ahead. There’s a long way to go, Brazil and Abu Dhabi are a long way away there are a lot of races between now and then, and we’ve got to do well in all of them.”
As for this weekend, there is work to be done,
“The Red Bulls look competitive as ever, but for me I’ve struggled today to get a balance with the car, I’m a long way off where I want to be, we’ve got a few problems and hopefully we can solve then tomorrow. It’s not the new aero package so much, it’s just something on the car.
“It’s about getting a good feeling for the car, a good balance. I hope we can improve it for tomorrow and I know we can, because we know what the problems are.”
“I’m loving being the championship leader, centre of attention, not really. I love the racing.
“Ferrari were quite quick this morning, so I don’t know, they might be playing games, a lot of people do on Fridays, we certainly have in the past. We’ll wait and see. If you look at the consistency of some of the cars, you’d say that the Toyotas and Red Bulls look pretty competitive, but the others I’ve not really paid too much attention to. I’ll look at the data tonight.”