I’ve been at the Barcelona test today, where Jenson Button put the new Brawn-Mercedes through it’s first full day of testing alongside the opposition. And what a day it was.
Jenson was fastest this morning and then this afternoon he wound up fourth with a best lap of 1min 21.140. But we shouldn’t get too carried away with the headline lap times, the point is that the car ran very reliably, covering 250 miles in total, which is a fantastic effort for a first full day’s running, as rival teams acknowledged. It ran with hardly any problems and Jenson had a smile as wide as a Cheshire cat this evening.
As he said, he could so easily have been sitting at home on his sofa with no career to look forward to. He admitted that he had other offers but turned them down to stay with this team and was quite open about the fact that he has taken a pay cut and quite a significant one, to drive for Brawn GP this season.
He described his new car as ‘beautiful’.
“It’s been a stressful winter, five months out of the car. The plan B was not racing. But what would I do, sat at home? There’s nothing out there for me. I’m 29 years old, I’m still a kid and I’ve still got a lot to prove. I’m here to try to win races with Brawn GP and I think there is a good possibility of that in the future.
“I only knew it was 100% on Thursday last week. We had the whole factory in one room. Ross gave a speech and said that we were racing this year and it was just the biggest round of applause.
“When you have a long term contract you don’t worry about the future. But being at home you think, ‘Wow! This has all suddenly come to a stop very quickly. Thinking that I wasn’t going to be racing was very tough.
“It’s necessary for everyone to sacrifice certain things. I’m here to race and I love racing and you have to make sacrifices.
The car is not bad, it’s nice to drive and I’m very comfortable with it. It reacts well to changes. We’ve had a positive day. We’ve done a good job today. We came here to do long runs and get as many miles on the car as we could and we’ve achieved that first day. 82 laps is not bad at all. ”
The car looks pretty good. The detail on the aerodynamics is startling in places, like the diffuser and the front wing, which is very intricate and complex. Brawn GP is running it’s Melbourne car here, whereas some other teams still have updated parts to test this week and next and will bring more parts to Melbourne.
I think it’s fair to say that Jenson was not running as much fuel as some of the other teams, Williams for example were running very heavy today, but nevertheless the car looked like it has great change of direction and they seem to have dialled in a set up pretty quickly
It’s early days yet, but it’s been a great start to the adventure which is Brawn GP. By the way, check out the new poll on the right hand side of this page. It’s about the Brawn GP logo, what do you think of it?