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Sabtu, 30 Mei 2009

Lola confirms 2010 F1 entry


Source : www.autosport.com

By Pablo Elizalde

Lola has confirmed it has submitted its entry to the FIA for next year's Formula 1 world championship.

The Huntingdon-based company had already expressed its interest in returning to grand prix racing last month, after the FIA announced plans to introduce a budget cap system in F1.

On Friday, the last day to lodge entries for 2010, Lola confirmed it had submitted its entry.

The company said it would not many any further comments until the results of the entry submissions are made public on 12th June.

Lola last appeared in F1 in 1997.

Brawn to make Button big money offer




Source : www.autosport.com

By Edd Straw and Jonathan Noble

Brawn is ready to rewrite Jenson Button's three-year contract in a bid to see off attempts by rival teams to lure him away, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine reveals.

Button agreed to a substantial pay-cut, to continue with the team this year after signing a new contract with Honda worth in the region of £8 million a season shortly before the marque decided to quit Formula 1 last year.

Although he is committed to Brawn until the end of the 2011 season, team bosses are concerned that a big-money offer from a rival team could encourage the world championship leader to activate exit options that are in his contract.

Team CEO Nick Fry admitted that discussions will be opened up with Button later in the season with a view to offering a pay packet that rewards his status as world championship leader.

"He took voluntary a major reduction but he does have a contract for several years to come and we will discussing at some stage later this year what we do to make sure he is rewarded fairly," Fry told AUTOSPORT. "But it is not something we are discussing at the moment.

"These contracts are quite complicated but it is not something that is vexing us at the moment. He has done a great job and later in the year he will win more races and have a discussion."

How much the team is able to pay Button could depend on what commercial deals it is able to put together. But Fry is confident that the team has the resources not only to keep Button, but also to keep developing the Brawn BGP 001 that has won five out of six races this year.

"There is no issue whatsoever with funding through this year. Even if we didn't get another penny in sponsorship we are able to do what we need to do."

"We are using our money wisely, and that means spending money on the performance of the car and, for example, the whole team including Ross and I flying Easyjet."

FOTA teams submit F1 entries for 2010


Source : www.autosport.com

By Pablo Elizalde

All the current Formula 1 teams have submitted their entries to the FIA for the 2010 championship, FOTA confirmed on Friday.

The Formula One Teams' Association said, however, that their entries were conditional on a new Concorde Agreement being signed by all parties before 12th June.

"The renewal of the Concorde Agreement will provide security for the future of the sport by binding all parties in a formal relationship that will ensure stability via sound governance," said FOTA in a statement.The teams' body also said that the entries were conditional on the regulations being based on 2009 rules, "identical for all competitors and amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA."

"All FOTA teams' entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship have been submitted today on the understanding that (a) all FOTA teams will be permitted to compete during the 2010 Formula One season on an identical regulatory basis and (b) that they may only be accepted as a whole," added the statement.

"All FOTA teams now look forward with optimism to collaborating proactively and productively with the FIA, with a view to establishing a solid foundation on which the future of a healthy and successful Formula One can be built, providing lasting stability and sound governance."

The FIA announced earlier this year the introduction of a budget cap system from the 2010 season.

Those teams adhering to the system would get greater technical freedom, something that most FOTA teams have spoken against.

At least four of the current teams have threatened to withdraw from the sport if the two-tier system came into play next year.

The window to submit entries for 2010 closes today.

Kamis, 28 Mei 2009

The Next Mansell


Pic taken from www.papermag.com





Yeah! Jenson menang lagi! Kemenangan Jenson Button pada GP Monaco kemarin adalah kemenangan kelimanya musim ini (keenam sepanjang karirnya). Lima kemenangan dari enam Grand Prix! Ian Parkes dari Press Association (lihat press conference JB) mengatakan hanya ada enam pembalap yang berhasil memenangi lima GP pada enam GP pertama dan keenam pembalap tersebut adalah kampiun Formula One: Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio (pemegang lima kali juara dunia F1), Jim Clark, Jackie Steward, Nigel Mansell, dan Michael Schumacher (sang legenda F1 peraih tujuh kali gelar juara dunia!)

Pada awal karir JB, ia sering disebut-sebut sebagai the next Mansell dan memang selain sama-sama dari Inggris, sama-sama berbakat tapi sama-sama kesulitan meraih gelar podium pertama, namun ketika semua sudah pada tempatnya, bakat mereka akhirnya terlihat, dan baik Mansell yang harus melewati seratus kali GP sebelum akhirnya berhasil memenangi Grand Prix pertamanya dan pada tahun 1992, Mansell bersama Williams tampil n dan berhasil meraih gelar pertamanya sebagai juara dunia Formula One. Begitu pun dengan Jenson yang harus berjuang membungkam semua omongan skeptis tentang dirinya karena tak jua berhasil memenangi GP padahal ia bersama BAR Honda tampak kompetitif sebagai pesaing Michael Schumacher dan Ferrari dan justru pada tahun 2005 ia baru berhasil memenangi GP pertamanya di Hungaria dan tahun ini bersama Brawn, kembali Jenson mengulangi yang terjadi pada Mansell, mendominasi- setidaknya pada enam GP pertama ini- dan semoga JB bersama Brawn akan tetap terus mendominasi panggung F1 dan berhasil mengulangi sukses Mansell meraih gelar dunia pertamanya tapi kuharap tak seperti Mansell yang hanya sekali meraih gelar dunia, semoga JB bisa meraih – mungkin tiga atau empat gelar dunia, menyamai rekor Prost, jika rekor Schumi dan Fangio sulit ditandingi. Meski dulu, aku sudah cukup puas bila melihat JB berhasil sekali saja juara dunia tapi manusia kan tak pernah puas terlebih melihat betapa luarbiasanya penampilan Jenson pada awal musim ini. Dan kurasa Jenson pun takkan berpuas diri dengan hanya merebut satu kali gelar saja. Namun berapa kalipun Jenson berhasil merebut gelar dunianya, setidaknya Jenson berhasil membuktikan bakat dan skill-nya yang pernah diragukan selama ini.

Sedikit menoleh ke belakang. Kehadiran Jenson bersama Williams memang sempat mendapat pujian terlebih Jenson merupakan bintang muda berbakat dari Inggris yang diharapkan dapat terus melanjutkan jejak-jejak pendahulunya, pembalap-pembalap berbakat dari Inggris yang berhasil meraih gelar juara dunia. Golden Boy sempat ditempelkan padanya, tapi toh kemudaannya membuat Frank Williams meminjamkan Jenson ke Renault yang dulu masih bernama Benetton – demi mengasah skill dan bakat Jenson, sebagai pengganti Jenson, Frank merekrut pemuda Kolombia, Juan Pablo Montoya yang kini telah sakit hati pada F1 dan sekarang merasa nyaman membalap di IndyCar (kalau tak salah) bersama tim Galaxy (kalau tak salah juga).

Seiring waktu, publik mulai lelah menanti keberhasilan Jenson (mungkin) yang tak jua dapat menampilkan apa yang diharapkan. Montoya yang menggantikannya bahkan berhasil memberikan kemenangan bagi tim Sir Frank ini, sementara Jenson masih belum bisa berbicara banyak di kancah F1.

Buntutnya, Flavio akhirnya mendepak Jenson demi memberikan tempat bagi anak asuhnya, Alonso (yang sempat dititipkan Flavio di Minardi untuk meningkatkan skill balapnya). Bukan Alonso yang dipermasalahkan publik ketika Flavio tega menendang Jenson tapi Trulli. Dibanding Trulli, prestasi Jenson jauh lebih bagus dan statistik mengatakan bahwa Jenson seringkali jauh lebih cepat dibanding Trulli tapi Flavio yang lebih suka posisi anak-anak asuhnya (selain sebagai bos tim Benetton, Flavio juga menjadi manager Trulli dan Alonso) aman jadi meskipun Jenson jauh lebih cepat, ia lebih memilih melepas bintang muda berbakat ini dan mempertahankan Jarno Trulli untuk disandingkan dengan anak asuhnya yang lain, Fernando Alonso.

David Richards-lah yang bisa melihat potensi dari seorang Jenson Button. Pada bulan-bulan akhir 2002, Richards merekrut Jenson ke tim BAR Honda yang kala itu merupakan tim besar yang sangat potensial tapi sepertinya kehilangan arah dan tujuan(Craig Pollock, manager Jacques Villeneuve -anak pembalap legendaris F1, Gilles Villeneuve yang tewas secara tragis saat grand prix- yang berhasil menarik dua perusahaan tobacco terbesar Inggris dan Amerika, BAT ke panggung F1 dan mendirikan tim British American Racing ini, tapi seiring keberadaannya di f1, BAR malah jadi tak menentu dan entah apa yang salah dengan tim yang sempat dianggap sebagai kompetitor berat peraih gelar dunia terlebih Jacques Villenueve hengkang ke tim baru ini setelah ia berhasil merebut gelar dunianya pada tahun 1997 bersama Williams (setelah Schumi didiskualifikasi sehingga meski poin yang diperolehnya sama dengan JV, namun Schumi harus rela melihat gelar dunia direbut anak muda Kanada ini). Awalnya JV berharap BAR bisa menjadi timnya seperti Ferrari yang sudah seperti tim Michael Schumacher, tapi yang terjadi selanjutnya, keadaan di BAR malah sangat kacau sehingga tak menghasilkan prestasi berarti. Dan Jenson akan mengisi kursi balap di BAR Honda pada musim 2003 bersama juara dunia satu kali asal Kanada ini.

Kala merekrut JB di akhir tahun 2002, Richards mengatakan bahwa Jenson memiliki potensi untuk menjadi juara dunia empat tahun mendatang. Ya, memang agak meleset sedikit, tapi setidaknya ramalan Richards akan terjawab pada musim ini melihat penampilan spektakuler Jenson sepanjang musim F1 yang masih berjalan ini.

Sayangnya, meski JB tampil luar biasa bersama BAR Honda di bawah asuhan David Richards, sang penyelamat yang menariknya dari lembah ketidakpastian di Benetton-Renault, namun di penghujung musim 2004, Jenson terlibat masalah Buttongate I yang membuat David Richards akhirnya hengkang dari BAR Honda dan sepeninggal Richards, semua kesuksesan di musim 2004 seolah ikut terbang bersama David Richards.

Tapi semua itu sekarang merupakan masa lalu. Dan bukankah pengalaman adalah guru yang baik? Sepertinya Jenson telah berhasil memetik pelajaran dari pengalamannya di masa silam. Gaya membalapnya yang lembut seringkali menimbulkan pemikiran skeptis pada beberapa orang bahwa Jenson terlalu lembek dan takut menyalip pembalap di depannya tapi sebenarnya semua itu telah dipatahkan oleh Jenson jauh sebelum tahun ini.

GP Jerman 2004 yang bagiku merupakan balapan terbaik Jenson (setelah menulis pojok sore edisi sebelumnya, aku terus dihantui rasa penasaran di mana tepatnya JB berhasil menyalip Alonso dengan satu tangan sementara tangan lainnya memegangi tali helm. Dan setelah aku mengubek-ngubek data-data lama akhirnya berhasil pula kutemukan tentang GP Jerman 2004 ini).

Aku selalu ingat ketika di pit terakhir JB di GP Jerman 2004, ia keluar dan hampir bersamaan dengan Alonso yang tengah menggeber Renault-nya sejajar dengannya tapi karena tali pengikat helm Jenson longgar dan akibatnya membuat leher Jenson tercekik saat di garis lurus. Jenson pun harus pasrah karena kalah tarung dengan Alonso, ia lebih memilih mengatasi tali helmnya dulu (daripada berhasil menyalip Alonso tapi kemudian mati tercekik? He…he…he....) Tapi Jenson tak kenal menyerah. Ia kembali mencoba pada lap-lap berikutnya, Jenson berusaha menyalip Alonso saat keluar dari hairpin. Gagal lagi. Namun akhirnya usaha Jenson membuahkan hasil. Dengan satu tangan sibuk menarik tali helmnya ketika terasa mencekik lehernya, ia menyalip Alonso, dan kali ini berhasil. Podium kedua pun berhasil direbutnya dari tangan Fernando Alonso (yang membuatnya terdepak dari Renault) hanya dengan satu tangan! (Entah bagaimana raut wajah Flavio kala itu).

Seharusnya apa yang terjadi di GP Jerman 2004 itu mampu membungkam orang-orang yang selalu mempertanyakan kemampuan Jenson menyalip. Memang saat itu Jenson belum berhasil memenangi GP pertamanya meski menjadi penantang serius Ferrari yang tampil dominan musim itu. Tapi semua kan hanya masalah waktu.

Dan mungkin tahun ini merupakan waktunya bagi Jenson Button. Sebuah penantian panjang dari seorang pemuda dari Inggris yang pernah menjadi harapan publik Inggris tapi harapannya itu nyaris pupus beberapa tahun lalu bahkan rekan sebangsanya dari McLaren yang berhasil merebut gelar dunia yang diimpikannya itu dan pernah diramalkan oleh mantan bosnya akan berhasil direbutnya beberapa tahun yang lalu.

Mungkin karena ketenangan Jenson dalam membalap dan sikap Jenson yang humoris membuat orang berpikir ia tak serius sehingga tak banyak yang bisa melihat potensi dalam dirinya. Tapi sama seperti Sir Frank Williams dan David Richards, sepertinya Ross Brawn yang selama ini dikenal sebagai otak keberhasilan Michael Schumacher baik ketika di Renault dan Ferrari (sampai-sampai ketika Schumi pension dan Brawn cuti setahun dari F1, Brawn berkata bahwa ia tak bisa membayangkan apakah ia bisa bekerjasama dengan pembalap lain selain Michael Schumacher) dan Jenson Button merupakan pembalap yang ditangani Brawn selepas ia berpisah dengan Schumi (Rubens Barrichello, rekan JB di Brawn sudah lebih dulu mengenal Ross Brawn, mantan technical director-nya di Ferrari). Dan mungkin di antara tiga petinggi tim yang pernah bekerjasama dengan Jenson, sepertinya Ross Brawn-lah yang bisa mengeluarkan segenap potensi yang pernah dilihat Sir Frank dan David Richards pada diri seorang Jenson Button.

Sedikit catatan dari GP Monaco kemarin. Lucu juga sebenarnya melihat Jenson Button merayakan kemenangannya dengan berlari menuju podium (sepertinya ia tengah mengingatkan mengenai lomba triathlon yang diikutinya beberapa minggu lalu). Sedikit catatan lain, sepertinya John Button, ayah Jenson Button yang tak pernah absen menyaksikan GP putra tercintanya ini, selalu mengenakan kemeja pink setiap kali hadir, ya? Entah apakah John Button juga sama humorisnya seperti Jenson, anaknya, tapi rasanya lucu melihat ayah Jenson selalu memakai kemeja pink (memangnya tak ada kemeja lain, ya? Kalau kata sahabatku, mungkin John Button suka menonton film Korea seperti adikku. Bukankah kebanyakan pemeran pria di film Korea suka mengenakan kemeja pink? He… he… he….)

Apapun warna kemeja ayahnya, semoga karir Jenson tak se-mello pilihan warna kemeja ayahnya...

Selasa, 26 Mei 2009

McLaren feels 'peacemaker' in FIA row


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde
Tuesday, May 26th 2009

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh feels his team and partners Mercedes have acted as "peacemakers" between the rest of the teams and the FIA in the row over next year's rules.

The Formula One Teams' Association has been at loggerheads with the FIA following the introduction of the budget cap rules for 2010, with several teams threatening to quit the sport if the regulations remain unchanged.

McLaren has maintained it does not want a two-tier championship, but has kept a much more low-key approach than some of its rivals.

Whitmarsh said his team felt his team felt a duty to try and smooth things out between the other squads and the FIA.

"We do feel responsible for being a peacemaker or to help try and bring that together," said Whitmarsh.

"Formula 1 is our core business and I'd hope if you talked to any team in F1 they would say that McLaren is being very constructive and conciliatory, sought for compromise and we've seen it as our role.

"We are right in the middle in terms of budgets, we've got large teams and large continental corporations that are wrestling with the concept of becoming smaller and we've got small teams that are trying to survive and I think we can have an affinity from our position with both of those.

"And you've got to try and bring together the Toyota business with that of a Toro Rosso then that's quite a challenge but I hope we are in a position where we can understand that and I like to believe that we and Mercedes Benz can and have been very constructive in trying to bring those together. I think we very much try to do just that."

Whitmarsh also claimed his team has also been vocal about its ideas, just not in public.

"We have been vocal within the group, not vocal outside it," he added. "That's the right place to be vocal. I think our position is being very clearly and firmly put within the discussions that we have among ourselves but that's the right to be vocal."


Bernie to buy Silverstone - the real story


source : www.grandprix.com
Bernie Ecclestone, Monaco GP 2009

There were rumours knocking around at Monaco suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone is going to buy Silverstone, in order to stage the British GP at the Northamptonshire track.

It is not the firstt time there have been such rumours and while such a deal has always made quite a lot of sense, there has never seemed much likelihood of that actually happening. the logic behind such a deal is sound. The British Racing Drivers' Club is supposed to be a social club for racing drivers, but for years it has been highly-politicized because of its desire to run the British Grand Prix.

The logic of a sale would be to return the BRDC to the role that it was intended for: giving the club the money to buy a suitable club house somewhere useful (such as London); and to create a trust fund to provide money for such things as scholarships for young drivers and so on.

The rumours of a sale have arisen this time because BRDC chairman Robert Brooks has written to members inviting them to discuss the future role of the BRDC with regard to its responsibilities and functions, and to consider whether or not, under the right terms, and with a commitment to significant further development of the circuit and its facilities, the BRDC would be prepared to divest itself of its current responsibilities at Silverstone and hand these over to a suitable partner.

"The BRDC is fully committed to the objective of extensive and continued development of Silverstone as a world class motor sport facility for competitors, fans and the whole motor sport community in the UK," says BRDC president Damon Hill.

"However, it recognises the need to reform the current relationship between the business and the club for the sake of efficiency and the reputation and security of the BRDC. For the avoidance of doubt, Silverstone is still very much owned by the BRDC. These forums will be an opportunity for members to take part in the debate and inform the board of their wishes for the future of the club. There is unlikely to be any formal decisions made in these forums. Nevertheless, all the members are very keen to create the best conditions for the club's famous circuit to continue to grow and fulfil its enormous potential."

Q & A with Ross Brawn


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Monday, May 25th 2009

Sunday's race also marked the second consecutive one-two finish for the Brawn team, who is steamrolling towards the championship.

AUTOSPORT caught up with Ross Brawn after the Monaco success.

Q. It keeps on getting better and better, doesn't it?

Ross Brawn: Well, this is always an incredibly tough race, the whole weekend is a difficult weekend. One small mistake from the drivers and it's al over. So to have a one-two in such difficult circumstances is quite exceptional. The team just ran very, very well all weekend, we had a bit of a tough first stint in the race, the tyres went away a bit quicker than we anticipated but we managed to keep it together and recover. So I'm lost for words really.

Q. Jenson's starts haven't been so good in the past but he did brilliantly in Monaco?

RB: There's obviously a certain amount of technology in it, there are limitations on what you can do with the rules but the guys have been working on developing the start techniques and developing the clutch and all the things you can do, and they've been doing a great job. We had a difficult start in one race but apart from that they're doing a great job.

Q. The last person to win five of the first six races was Michael Schumacher at Ferrari..

RB: Was it? There was a bit in the race where Jenson was coming up to a group that were racing each other and we were talking on the pit wall and saying maybe he should ease the pace back a bit and not get mixed up in it and he came on the radio almost simultaneously and said 'look guys, I don't want to get involved in that, what's going on in front, I'm going to ease back a bit'. So he's gaining in that mental capacity to do things as well as driving the car.

Q. Would you rate him up there with the great drivers?

RB: You have to remember that Rubens is a tremendous reference. Rubens had his occasions when he beat Michael and Michael was a pretty strong reference so the fact that Jenson has won these races with Rubens in the team sets the standard. I think he is doing exceptionally well. It's early days but I'm obviously delighted with both drivers' performance. But Jenson is doing exceptionally well.

Q. Turkey is next up. Can you win that too?

RB: You always hope, but Turkey is a very aerodynamic circuit and I think if you look at the balance of the cars properties or strengths, low speed, medium speed, very good chassis performance, the aerodynamics are strong and they are getting stronger.

We've got a new front wing there but perhaps that's the area of the high speed performance where we know we are not quite as good as Red Bull for instance, so we've got some ideas about how to fix that and hope to have them in place by Turkey. It's going to be fighting tooth and nail in every race.

Q. You have a British driver in a British team, and it looks guaranteed to be leading into British GP.

RB: I hadn't thought of that but we are really looking forward to seeing our fans. We seem to have built up a tremendous group of fans even in the short time we have been together so we are really looking forward to seeing them all at Silverstone and hopefully having a special time.

Q. That's going to be a big one to tick off, the British GP?

RB: They are all very special but of course your home grand prix has an extra element so it would be pretty special. It would almost complete the set.

Q. Winning this one with a team with your own name must be pretty amazing?

RB: It is and it hasn't sunk in. It has my name on it but the team is a team, a group of people who are all doing a fantastic job and I'm trying to be a bit of a catalyst and help things along. It carries my name but is a fantastic group of people.

Q. How does it compare to winning with Ferrari?

RB: We are obviously doing it with a lot less resource than Ferrari, so it's a different approach. This is a small boutique team as opposed to what Ferrari was. It will be probably more difficult for us to keep it going in some ways but everybody is achieving more than you might expect. We've got the heart of a big team, even if we are a small team.

Brawn hoping for big guns' fightback


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Monday, May 25th 2009

Brawn hopes Formula 1's underperforming big guns Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber can all stage a fight back soon - because it will actually help its own world championship bid.

With Jenson Button's fifth victory from six races in Monaco on Sunday leaving him odds-on favourite for the world title, the team is refusing to get too carried away with its championship hopes.

However, team chief executive officer Nick Fry says that Brawn's comfortable lead in the points table over Red Bull Racing means any fightback from giants like Ferrari and McLaren will benefit Button and Rubens Barrichello because their rivals will start taking points off each other.

"It was in many ways a relief that Red Bull did not score as many points as they had in the past," said Fry. "We are now in a position where we have more than double the points as the next best competitor, and that puts us in a decent position.

"What we hope happens is that several teams come back and they will steal points not only off us but off others as well. So fingers crossed."

Despite Brawn having been quick on all types of circuit, and in all conditions, so far this year - Fry is still wary of the challenges that lay ahead in maintaining his team's position at the head of the field.

"I believe we are still realistic about it, and we know Ferrari especially look like coming back very strongly," he said. "The next two tracks are very different again, very fast in some places and I think it is still going to be tough for us to maintain what we are doing at the moment.

"I think the other huge credit has to go to Mercedes-Benz. I don't know if it has been observed but the engine in Jenson's car is the first F1 engine to win three races in succession. To have an engine which is that good in terms of its performance, durability and reliability is a tribute to the guys in Stuttgart and Brixworth."

Fry also admitted that Button's Monaco victory, which the winner himself had hailed as 'massive', was a very emotional one.

"It was completely magical for the team," he said. "To see Jenson running down the track towards me was a very special moment indeed.

"It really summed everything up - a man with a spring in his step and the whole team there to receive him. It was a great moment and Monaco is the big one - it is like the Cup Final.

"We are in a situation where all of us race fans can remember great drives from people like Jackie Stewart - and that makes Monaco special for all the teams. So to have a 1-2 at Monaco is the pinnacle."

Monaco Sunday quotes: Brawn


source : www.autosport.com

Jenson Button - 1st: "Wow! Winning the Monaco Grand Prix is something that you dream about as a child and as a racing driver and the reality of taking that victory just feels awesome. To win in Monaco is truly a special feeling. With Rubens taking a superb second place, a one-two finish for the Brawn-Mercedes team in Monaco is fantastic. The race felt like it went on forever and you feel that the barriers are getting closer and closer as the end of the race approaches. But for the last couple of laps, I was able to relax and really enjoy the moment.

"It's been an unbelievable day, capped with my impromptu sprint down the pit straight to the podium. I can tell you it's a very long way! But it was amazing to get such a fantastic reception from the crowd and I hope the fans enjoyed what was a great race for the team. The car felt good today but we didn't have the best of starts to the weekend so it makes this victory even more of an achievement. For the team, for Mercedes-Benz and for my family who were here in Monaco watching the race this weekend, today has to be the high-point of what has been an exceptional season."

Rubens Barrichello - 2nd: "Another one-two for the team today is just amazing. I had a really good start on the option tyre and was able to get ahead of Kimi before the first corner which put me in a great position to challenge Jenson. I had tremendous pace but following so closely behind him affected the aero balance of my car and I suffered with massive graining on the rears which lost me a lot of time. We had a great strategy to recover and I came in earlier than planned to keep second place but by then Jenson was over ten seconds ahead. However it was a great race and I really enjoyed the challenge and the fight with Kimi. I'm still very much in the fight and collecting as many points as possible whilst pushing Jenson as hard as I can."

Ross Brawn: "Fantastic drives from Jenson and Rubens, outstanding pit stops from the team and the performance of our Mercedes-Benz engine secured an amazing one-two victory for Brawn GP here in Monaco today. Jenson gave himself the best possible chance of victory after achieving pole position with his flying lap yesterday and he was able to control the race from the front today. Bringing the car home in one piece after 78 laps is no easy feat in Monaco but Jenson was calm and assured throughout the race and drove with real finesse.

"Rubens had a great start to get ahead of Raikkonen and was showing excellent pace before his first set of rear tyres began to grain heavily as a result of following Jenson so closely. Unfortunately that compromised his chance of fighting it out with his team-mate but he did superbly well to keep Raikkonen at bay and bring home maximum points for the team's championship challenge. The Monaco Grand Prix is an incredibly special race and to win here means so much to everyone here at the track, at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth. Special congratulations to Mercedes-Benz for supplying an engine that has now won three Grands Prix, a modern day record in Formula One."

Monaco GP - Sunday - Race Report


Jenson jogs to victory
Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Monaco GP 2009

source : www.grandprix.com


Jenson Button's only mistake on Sunday in Monte Carlo was to park the car in the wrong place after a nt victory. Normally the three top drivers go straight to the track in front of the royal box where they stop and collect their trophies.

Button was too busy enjoying his victory that he turned into the pitlane instead of going to the royal box. This was unfortunate as his presence was required by Prince Albert and so Jenson jumped out of his car and ran off down the start-finish straight towards the podium. As he ran he waved to the crowd and enjoyed the greetings of team members along the pit wall. His 400m job ended in the arms of the team's managing director Nick Fry. With five wins in six races there was much reason to celebrate. But for Jenson the joy came because it was Monaco.

"Well, before the weekend I said that this Grand Prix doesn't mean anything different to any other Grand Prix," he said. "That was a bit of a lie really but I was just trying to take a bit of pressure off myself. It is very special winning here. It is a completely different circuit to any that we race on. If you are quick in Barcelona you are quick on many circuits. This is just different and to win here is a great feeling. The last 15 laps were tough as when you lose a little bit of concentration anything can happen.

But the last two laps were the most enjoyable laps of my career, I would say. I could just enjoy the moment. I had a big enough lead and I could just enjoy winning Monaco. It is something you always dream about as a kid. You watch it on television and you think it is an amazing spectacle. But actually driving in it and winning it is just fantastic. I am very happy. I struggled at the start of the week and for me that makes it even better to come away with the victory. As I crossed the line I shouted on the radio to my engineers, 'We have got Monaco, baby.' We have got the victory in Monaco and that means a lot and a one-two finish for Brawn is exceptional. It is definitely going to go down in history. The performance of the team this year - it has been staggering."

Button's run was exemplary. The team surprised everyone when the tyre warmers were removed as the Brawns were both fitted with the super-soft tyres, which most people had trouble with. Not surprisingly Sebastian Vettel had the same and Lewis Hamilton too. Lewis had nothing to lose and places to gain. Oddly, Adrian Sutil also had them and he was planning a one-stop strategy. Everyone else went for the harder compound and decided to use the softer rubber for the late race stint, or for a short, sharp blast in the middle of the race. The Brawns have always been able to get the most from the tyres (apart from in the wet in Malaysia) and that had been their secret. The cars are fast and gentle on their tyres.

Button himself was rather surprised to see that others had not done the same thing.

"We never thought twice about running the super-soft option tyres," he said. "Even though towards the end of the first stint I started struggling a little with oversteer."

The two Brawns came off the line well and Raikkonen was left (quite literally) in the dust, as his grid position was on the dirty side of the road. The KERS made no difference at all.

With insouciant ease Button opened up a gap over Barrichello who, as his rear tyres began to suffer a little, dropped back towards Raikkonen's challenging Ferrari. Riding a little too close to Button early on, the Brazilian had suffered from the aerodynamic repercussions of tailing another car and overworked his rubber as a result. All Kimi could do was to try to make sure that Vettel did not get him as well. The Brawns were gone.

Raikkonen was able to stay with them for a while, while Vettel found himself under urgent attack from Felipe Massa. The feisty Brazilian tried a few wild moves to get ahead of Vettel and after running over the chicane, he had to back off to let the Red Bull ahead again. As he did that Nico Rosberg stuck his Williams into the gap created and Massa lost another position. A few laps later Vettel made a pig's ear of the chicane and fell from fourth to seventh in the blink of an eye and, having done that, he gave up and headed for the pits to get the harder rubber and lots of fuel. His race was basically ruined. In the end he locked up his tyres and crashed, ending his hopes of adding more points to his tally. Rosberg was left in fourth, under attack from Massa. As the first stops approached, Button suddenly began to pull away.

"Possibly I just got too close to him," Barrichello said. "I was sliding a little bit more. Then Jenson started gaining a lot when my rear tyres began graining. I lost four seconds straight away through that."
Button did not encounter the same trouble as he was running in clean air all the time.

Raikkonen stopped on lap 15, and Barrichello was in the following lap, making sure that the Ferrari did not gain too much advantage. Button followed soon afterwards and briefly Rosberg was in the lead but when he pitted Button was ahead again. In the second stint it was Barrichello who was the faster of the Brawns but Button had such an advantage that Rubens was never going to win. Button then stopped on lap 49, with Rubens coming in on lap 50. Jenson was briefly behind Raikkonen but Kimi was going to have to stop again and so it was really just academic. Button cruised for home, worrying all the way about the car failing or making a mistake. Barrichello followed him home. After his second stop Rubens ran into trouble with a seat belt. When that was sorted he was quick again, but by then it was too late.

Raikkonen re-emerged in third from his last stop and seemed happy enough
"We need to be happy after our very difficult start to the season," he said.
It was clear that Ferrari was not a match for the Brawn, but substantial development had certainly helped.

Massa was fourth after Vettel and Rosberg disappeared
"I lost a lot of time behind Vettel and then, because I made a mistake, I was also passed by Rosberg," he said. "I think I could also have passed Kimi, but it is too early to claim to be the second best team in the championship. What is sure is that we are working well."

Webber came home fifth and was happy with that.
"To get a few points after a challenging qualifying session is pretty good," he said. "There were a few more people that came in on the act this weekend, so for us to still come away with a few points is good for us in the Constructors' Championship. The guys worked like hell this weekend to fit a lot of new parts so it was important for us to get some points. At other circuits we'll be stronger again."

Rosberg's sixth seemed a disappointment.
"I've got to be happy with sixth place," he said. "More just wasn't possible, and we did the best we could have in the circumstances. We did a long middle stint on primes as we were still worried about the durability of the option tyre, but they seemed to hold on much better than expected in the last stint, perhaps due to the amount of rubber down on the circuit by the end of the race."

Kazuki Nakajima was looking strong at certain points, but then always seemed to be in the wrong place and ended his day, sliding off at the end of the race.
"I was pushing perhaps too hard," he said.

Fernando Alonso knew he had little chance of success.
"It was a hard race and very tight from the beginning," he said, "but the car felt good and kept improving during the race. We had a good strategy but here in Monaco the starting position is essential and so starting ninth and gaining two places and two points is a satisfying result. My motivation and the motivation of the team remain very high. We have a lot of new things for the upcoming races and we are confident that the second part of the season should be better for us."

Nelson Piquet had little to report. He was running a long first stint but was then hit from behind on the straight by Sebastien Buemi, which damaged the rear of my car and forced him to retire.
"I ended up pushing him all the way into the first corner," Buemi said glumly. "I am sorry about this and I went to apologise to him."

His team-mate Sebastien Bourdais did manage to keep going and finished eighth to claim the final point.

Fisichella was very pleased with his ninth place and was close behind Bourdais at the finish and in contention for the final point. Sutil started on a one-stop strategy. The tyres soon grained and he fell away.

Tenth and 13th were probably better results than Toyota expected. Glock started with so much fuel he was able to run to lap 57 on the soft Bridgestones. Trulli did a two-stopper, going soft, soft, super-soft, and was unable to keep Hamilton at bay in the closing stages. Assuredly, this was a disaster for Toyota in which they threw all manner of set-ups at the TF109 during the weekend yet never seemed to make the slightest progress.

BMW Sauber was in the same boat as Toyota. Heidfeld ran soft and super-soft to claim 11th place, and said his car was simply too slow. Kubica made a poor start, then suffered a right rear puncture. He was lapping well with a fuel heavy car, but was forced to retire with brake problems. Like Toyota, BMW Sauber need to have a major rethink before Turkey.

And McLaren?

Well, Lewis Hamilton's spin in qualifying was given a five grid place penalty when the gearbox needed changing, so started the race from 19th on the grid. In the race he had a brush with Nick Heidfeld and had to pit.

"I had a lot of understeer," he explained. "Putting a new wing on made it a bit better but it wasn't enough."

Kovalainen did his best but he had to pit for repairs and then crashed. It was a bad day for McLaren.

Senin, 25 Mei 2009

Monaco GP - Sunday - Press Conference


Source: www.grandprix.com

Monaco GP - Sunday - Press Conference
24 MAY 2009
1. Jenson BUTTON (Brawn GP), 1h40m44.282s


TV UNILATERALS
Q: Jenson, you didn't even wait for the car to the podium ceremony. You just sprinted to the ceremony.
Jenson BUTTON: Yeah, I mean the race was pretty tough but with the helmet on when you run you realise how long the pit lane is. I got off the line clean with Rubens behind and Rubens had problems with his rear tyres and I got a gap and it really didn't change from there. I had the normal Monaco thing when the walls seem to get closer and closer the further you get into the race. But, yeah, an outstanding weekend and I think we have proven this weekend that our package works. I think we are looking very strong for the next few races. This victory is massive for us, I think, at this point of the season.

Q: When the tyre covers came off on the grid the Brawn cars were on the soft tyre unlike some of your major competitors. In some ways that is where you won the race with everybody else having trouble.
Button: Well, yeah I was surprised when the covers came off and most people were on the prime tyres, the harder of the two. We never thought twice really about running the option tyre and at the end of the stint I did start struggling with a little bit of oversteer but not quite as bad as Rubens did. But I started struggling and my times were not quite good enough and that is why they called me in and I stuck the prime tyres on. The prime tyres worked really well here. But the prime tyre was the race tyre.

Q: Those last 15 laps in Monaco when you are so near victory but things can go wrong. Talk us through your mindset at that point.
Button: Yeah, it is a very strange feeling because you start backing off a little bit and in reality, as has been said many times before, that is the worst thing to do as you start thinking about if I get this to the end I am going to win Monaco. That is the worst thing to do. I started backing off and there was so much going through my mind. It is not that you are not thinking about driving but there is a part of your mind that is thinking about something else. I had to really concentrate and the last two laps were very enjoyable as I had a big enough gap and you know nothing can go wrong with the car. I could drive at my steady pace and just enjoy the moment as it is a very special moment winning here in Monaco.

Q: Jenson, some final thoughts on winning the Monaco Grand Prix. It is the Blue Riband race event of the FIA Formula One World Championship and it must have been a long held ambition of yours. Talk us through that and your immediate thoughts as you crossed the line and the emotions you felt.
Button: Well, before the weekend I said that this grand prix doesn't mean anything different to any other grand prix. I think that was more to stop the pressure on myself but we all know the truth. To win here was fantastic. This circuit is very different to anything else. I struggled at the start of the week and for me that makes it even better to come away with the victory. As I crossed the line I shouted on the radio to my engineers, 'we have got Monaco, baby.' We have got the victory in Monaco and that means a lot and a one-two finish for Brawn is exceptional. It is definitely going to go down in history, the performance of the team this year. It has been staggering. It is a great moment and I can't wait to see all the boys. It is nice to get off the podium and see them but both of us, I am sure Rubens feels the same, to go and see the boys they are all going to be very emotional at the moment, so well done to them.

PRESS CONFERENCE
Q: Jenson, where does Monaco rate in your all-time wins?
Button: As I said before, I said this weekend that this win doesn't mean anything else to me than any other. It wouldn't if it happened. Bit of a lie really but I was just trying to take a bit of pressure off myself. It is very special winning here. It is a completely different circuit to any that we race on. If you are quick in Barcelona you are quick on many circuits. This is just different and to win here is a great feeling. The last 15 laps were tough as when you lose a little bit of concentration anything can happen. But the last two laps were the most enjoyable laps of my career, I would say. I could just enjoy the moment. I had a big enough lead and I could just enjoy winning Monaco. It is something you always dream about as a kid. You watch it on television and you think it is an amazing spectacle. But actually driving in it and winning it is just fantastic. I am very happy.

Q: The car seemed to be perfect and the tyres perfect as well.
Button: As perfect as a car can be around Monaco for sure. The problem with this circuit is the further you go into the race, as it is mentally very tough and you are focusing so much, the barriers seem to get narrower and narrower. The car was great. We started off with a car this weekend that I was not happy in. I actually did not want to drive here at one point. I was just not happy at all but we have worked with it. The engineers have done a great job and the car has performed very well in qualifying and the race. It was an exceptional weekend, I think, for myself and also for Brawn and Rubens. This will definitely go down in history, for sure, a new team winning in Monaco.

Q: We are a third of the way through the championship and people are saying you cannot lose this championship.
Button: Yeah, I don't know how you can say that after six races; I have won five. You are sort of putting a bit of negative energy in there and saying it is mine to lose. I wouldn't put it like that. I am 16 points in the lead and I have more of an advantage than others to win the championship. But it is all to play for. It is not mine to lose for sure. I am doing the best I can and at the moment that is good enough. We will see what happens over the next few races. I am just enjoying this moment as the whole team should be. Every win is great but I think for the whole team, and I think everyone in Formula One, you want to win in Monaco and you want to win your home grand prix. In a way this is both for me.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Bob McKenzie - The Daily Express) Well done Jenson, the run at the end, what inspired that, where did you get the energy, and can you explain what it was like on those two last laps when you were able to cruise? What could you see, what could you hear, could you appreciate the crowds?
Button: Yes, it was the first time I've actually looked around Monaco during a race, even though somebody said I was doing that back in 2001. This was the first time I had a couple of laps to let it soak in. I was doing a pace during the last two laps when it was pretty impossible to make a mistake. It was such a nice feeling, especially going past the pits and seeing the boys and seeing my pit board being shaken by Mikey Muscles, my physio. So it was a very emotional couple of laps. The run at the end was... it's been a long time since I've been on the podium in Monaco. I thought they were directing me in (to parc ferme), so I went in with all the other cars, got out and had to make a spectacle of it, so I ran around and ran down the circuit. There was no other way to go, all the other ways were full of people, so I ran round the circuit. It's amazing how much energy you've got when you cross the line first but it was a bit embarrassing.

Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association) Jenson, I don't know how you are on your Formula One history but only six drivers have ever won five of the first six races and they are some of the greats: Ascari, Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Mansell and Schumacher. I just wondered what you thought about that, whether you've got any feelings being listed in that kind of company?
Button: It's a great feeling, for sure. Facts obviously don't excite me too much, especially after the last couple of years that I've had but winning does and winning here is very special. I'm not thinking about the last few races, it's this race I'm feeling at the moment, and I'm sure tomorrow I will start thinking about the next race in Turkey but at the moment I'm thinking that I won in Monaco. That's a special feeling that will last for quite a while, I think.

Q: (Tom Cary - The Daily Telegraph) Jenson, you're now guaranteed to be leading the championship when we get to Silverstone. What's that going to feel like?
Button: Is Silverstone after Turkey? OK. Yeah, that's a great feeling. I always love the British Grand Prix. It is obviously my proper home Grand Prix. Even when you're not competitive and things are going tough you still get a lot of support there, being British, which is a great feeling. But also going there having won five races will be a nice feeling and hopefully there will be lots of Brawn caps out there. I think they've only just gone on sale but it would be nice to see a couple out there. It's a special race, whether you're in a good car or a not so good car. But turning up there winning the championship, yeah, it's going to be a nice feeling and hopefully I'll put on a good show in front of the home crowd. This guy (Barrichello) is going to be tough to beat there. I think he's beaten me every year he's been my team-mate but I will give it a good go.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Jenson, how was your graining on the option tyre at the beginning?
Button: I got a tiny bit, I think, but it didn't cost me a lot of lap time. We stopped earlier than expected but in the first couple of laps I wasn't pushing the tyre too hard because I thought it might grain and that might have been reason for it, it might also be because Rubens... I didn't grain and Rubens did because he was the following car and obviously you lose downforce but I was able to pull out a big enough gap. And I thought Rubens was maybe saving fuel initially but then the team said he was graining. It was a nice gap to have, very nice gap, when you're leading Monaco and you've got a 16s lead before the first stop. And then I really had to try and control the pace. Rubens seemed quicker at the start of the stints and I was quicker at the end which was more important for me to be quicker at the end, especially if he was stopping a lap or two later. In a way, you'd say that out of my wins this year, you could say that this one is the easiest but I also had a good gap but mentally this circuit is very tough. Every lap you have a chance of hitting a wall and that's game over and with the new big front wings, I'm sitting lower in the car as well. It's so easy to scrape a barrier with your front wing and that's game over, so you've got to be very precise. The thing is if you try and back off around here you lose a second and a half, so you've got to be pushing.

Q: (Peter Nugent - Riviera Radio) Jenson, you were very focused all weekend. How difficult was it to shut out all the distractions that Monaco always brings? And the second part of the question: you live here, your father John lives here, a family celebration tonight? What have you got planned?
Button: Well, I will be going to see Prince Albert later. I've got a suit and I'm looking forward to that. My mum's here, my dad's here and one of my sisters is here plus my girlfriend, so I've brought the full clan along and yeah, I'm sure we will have a good night as I'm sure most of us will. Monaco is a special race and Sunday night is a special night. Monaco puts on a good show.

Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association) Jenson, you talked about maintaining your concentration around here for the last few laps. What's it like maintaining your concentration going forward now, not allowing yourself to get too far ahead of yourself and think of the bigger picture?
Button: Well, if you stop asking me the same questions over and over again about winning the World Championship I might be able to concentrate on the next race. I'm taking it as it comes. Nothing's changed. I don't know what would change if I did think about the World Championship to be fair. But I'm enjoying myself, as you can imagine and I'm just looking forward to the next weekend in Turkey but before that we've got a bit of enjoyment to do this evening.

Jumat, 15 Mei 2009

Hamilton exasperated by F1 politics


source : www.autosport.com
By Matt Beer
Friday, May 15th 2009

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he has become disillusioned with Formula 1 in the wake of the scandal over his actions in the stewards' office in Melbourne.

The start of the world champion's title defence has been marred by both McLaren tumbling down the order and the fallout from Hamilton's disqualification for misleading the Australian Grand Prix stewards.

He said the controversy had left him feeling drained and exasperated.

"It's got to be a similar feeling to anyone who goes to jail but feels they shouldn't be behind bars," Hamilton told the Times newspaper. "That is the feeling I have had, although I know what happened in Australia was wrong.

"I just feel knocked about by it all. I want to be a driver - I am not in the sport to be a politician."

He insisted that he was able to put this frustration aside when he was racing and that it had not impinged on his performances.

"It hasn't affected my driving," said Hamilton. "I won't allow anything to affect my driving. But it affects your life, it affects the way you are. I used to enjoy
Formula 1 and part of that has been taken away from me."

The 24-year-old conceded that recent events had left him pining for the tranquility of junior racing.

"I never imagined there would be so much politics when I came into Formula 1," Hamilton said. "It definitely was a shock. There has been too much time taken up with it.

"Unfortunately, it is the way the Formula 1 world works for some reason. It's much nicer in the lower categories, where all the people are there just to race and the teams are there just to race."

Lola to push ahead with F1 entry


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Friday, May 15th 2009

Lola has confirmed that it does plan to submit an entry to the 2010 Formula 1 world championship, following an evaluation process over the past few weeks.

On the eve of a crisis meeting at Heathrow to discuss the future plans of current teams, Lola issued a statement on Thursday night confirming that it was pressing ahead with plans to join F1 next year.

"The original cap of £30 million, including engines, formed the basis of Lola's initial interest," said the statement.

"The decision by the WMSC to revise the figure to £40 million plus engines, marketing, hospitality and driver fees led to a re-examination of the opportunity by Lola culminating in today's confirmation that it will proceed with its Formula 1 project.

"The Lola Group believes that the WMSC decisions relating to cost-capping and the provision of revised technical regulations to facilitate the entry of new teams into Formula 1 should be embraced. This is not only prudent considering the backdrop of global economics but also taking into account the need for new teams to be able to compete credibly against long established entrants."

And although plans for a two-tier championship have been slammed by leading teams such as Ferrari, Toyota and Renault, Lola thinks it is important to give budget capped outfits the edge.

"It is imperative that performance breaks be afforded to new cost-capped entrants who will have a limited period in which to form teams, design and manufacture their cars.

"With these breaks Lola looks forward to competing with the existing teams who enjoy decades of experience. The question of speed differentials, safety and the spectacle of Formula 1 must also be considered.

"The Lola Group is forging ahead with its Formula 1 project with the objective of securing an entry into the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and in the expectation that the decisions of the WMSC will be respected in full."

Hamilton tips Button to take title


source : www.autosport.com
By Pablo Elizalde
Thursday, May 14th 2009

Lewis Hamilton has tipped championship leader Jenson Button to succeed him as world champion following the Brawn's driver dream start to the season.

Button has won four of the first five races and is leading team-mate Rubens Barrichello by 14 points ahead of next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, the sixth round of the championship.

Hamilton is 32 points behind and his McLaren team has been unable to fight near the front so far this year.

"I think Jenson's got a great chance, a great shot at it so I wish him all the best," Hamilton told Reuters in an interview.

"I think if I were to wish anyone (else) to win, it would be him."
He added: "I think it's a great story, so I wish him all the luck. They (Brawn) are going to have a great car there (in Monaco) so to beat them will be very tough. I don't think he has ever won there ... it will be a very special one for him to add to his list."

The McLaren driver says he will push as hard as possible to retain his crown, but he is aware that things would have to change very quickly for him to have a realistic chance.

"I want to win the world championship, we are a long way behind in points. I've never been as far behind or ahead in points before," he added.

"There's a lot of races left and if the car in front that is leading doesn't finish the next 10 races ... it's never over until it's over. For sure when we get to mid-season if we've still not scored many points, then we will have to knock it on the head.

"We'll keep pushing to try and win races in the year but clearly defending the world championship is (will be) out of the question."

Hamilton reckons the upcoming race in Monaco, where aerodynamics are not so important, is likely to be hist best shot at winning a race this year.

"Monaco will be one of the circuits, at least up until now, where we have the best chances of winning," he said. "It doesn't mean we will, but we arrive hopefully with a better package and able to turn things around.

"This is my favourite circuit, and especially after having won there it will be great to go there again and have another shot at it. But it will be tough for us this year."

Button to compete in London Triathlon


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Thursday, May 14th 2009

World championship leader Jenson Button is to take part in a race at slightly slower than F1 speeds during the summer break, after agreeing to compete in the London Triathlon.

The Brawn GP driver is to take part to help raise money for the 'Make a Wish Foundation' - and has got his two race engineers to also agree to join him.

The event on August 1, in which 11,000 competitors will take part, features a 1500 metre swim, a 40 kilometre bike ride and a 10km run.

"As you probably know I've been taking part in triathlons over the past couple of years as a way of keeping fit for my racing," said Button. "As we are so busy this year, I won't be able to do as many triathlons as I would like but thought that I would give the London Triathlon a go.

"It's the biggest triathlon in the world so I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a charity that is very close to my heart.

"I'm a Patron of the Make A Wish Foundation and have had the pleasure of meeting lots of kids who are supported by the charity at our tests and races.

"Make A Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses and it is a real privilege to be involved with them. The kids are so inspirational and hopefully we can raise enough money to fulfil as many of their dreams as possible."

He added: "Somehow I have even persuaded my two race engineers Shov and Bono to take part! They will be competing in the half distance event.

"So please dig into your pockets and sponsor me. Your money will be going to a very worthy cause and helping to make dreams come true for some very poorly children."

If you want to help support Button's efforts, more details can be found at www.justgiving.com/jensonbutton

Brawn biding time on title sponsorship


source : www.autosport.com

By Jonathan Noble
Thursday, May 14th 2009

Brawn GP is happy to bide its time before deciding on if it will sign a title sponsorship deal this season, despite the continued success of the team.

The Brackley-based outfit has had an offer from Virgin to become title sponsors, but it is currently weighing up other options that could provide with a more stable long-term platform.

CEO Nick Fry has said that despite the huge exposure the team is getting through its on track success, there was no rush to sign up sponsors quickly - because what was more important was guaranteeing funding for the next few years.

"The situation will change when we make the decision to change it," Fry told AUTOSPORT about the team's sponsorship situation.

"We have a lot of offers on the table and we are not badly off for this year. We can do the job with the money and resources that we have got at the moment.

"What Ross [Brawn] and I are looking for is the best solution for the next five years, and we don't need to hurry. We have obviously had a kind offer from Virgin but there are other offers on the table from big companies who perhaps can't move as quickly as a company as entrepreneurial as Virgin.

"We are biding our time, not panicking, I am sure you will see more sponsors on the car but it will be done in a considered way."

Fry has also not ruled out the possibility of the team not having a title sponsor at all throughout 2009.

"I would hope we could do a deal over the course of this season, but whether or not we have a title sponsor on the car this year we will see," he explained.

Rabu, 13 Mei 2009

Strategi Sempurna Membuahkan Hasil yang Sempurna




Sebagai sebuah ajang balap jet darat paling bergengsi di dunia, sebutan itu memang tak salah dilekatkan pada formula one. Sebagai sebuah ajang balap mobil, kecepatan, mobil yang mumpuni, dan skill pembalap saja tak cukup.

Masih ada strategi yang sempurna mendampingi semua hal tersebut. Tak tak jarang strategi yang matang dan sempurna menghasilkan hasil yang optimal. Ingat strategi empat stop Michael Schumacher pada GP Perancis 2006 yang luar biasa dan sukses mengantar Michael menjadi pembalap F1 yang berhasil menjuarai GP Perancis terbanyak (8 kali, sebuah rekor baru yang dibukukannya sebelum pensiun)?

GP Spanyol kemarin juga telah memperlihatkan betapa strategi merupakan salah satu faktor penting dalam f1 untuk meraih hasil sempurna. Dengan kata lain, dalam f1 otak pun berperan selain skill pembalap dan mesin mobil yang sempurna. Dan semua faktor itu harus terangkum menjadi satu karena strategi segemilang apapun jika tak didukung faktor lainnya maka hasilnya tetap tak seperti yang diharapkan. Meski melakukan strategi empat kali stop dan sekalipun Ferrari-nya sangat tangguh namun jika skill membalap Michael hanya di tingkat rata-rata, mungkin strategi empat kali pit Michael malah akan menjadi dagelan di paddock f1.

Balapan di GP Spanyol kemarin pun kembali para pecinta dunia formula one disuguhi tontonan yang super menarik sejak babak qualifying.

Sepanjang sesi qualifying kejutan-kejutan terus terjadi. Kimi Raikkonen yang membela Ferrari sejak tahun 2007 untuk pertama kalinya tak mampu bicara banyak dan ia gagal membuat catatan waktu yang cukup untuk mengantarnya ke sesi kedua qualifying.

Kejutan pun terus terjadi pada sesi akhir qualifying. Pergantian posisi pole terus terjadi bahkan hingga di sesi akhir qualifikasi, para pembalap terus memacu tunggangannya hingga batas akhir demi mencapai catatan waktu yang sempurna untuk mengantar mereka menjadi yang terdepan saat race.

Jenson Button yang di dua sesi qualifying membuat catatan waktu yang lebih buruk dibanding Rubens Barrichello menutup sesi akhir qualifikasi dengan mencatatkan waktu tercepat mengalahkan rekan setimnya itu dan Sebastian Vettel, kuda hitam dari tim Red Bull. Meski hasil itu dikarenakan ia menggunakan bahan bakar bakar yang jauh lebih sedikit dibanding yang lain dan kemungkinan ia dan Rubens harus melakukan tiga kali stop saat balapan nanti. Tapi setidaknya Brawn sudah menjawab keraguan atas kemampuan Brawn GP melanjutkan kesuksesannya di daratan Eropa seperti pada empat balapan sebelumnya di daratan Asia (Malaysia & Shanghai, RRC), Timur Tengah (Bahrain), dan Australia (Melbourne).

Balapan dibuka dengan insiden yang melibatkan Jarno Trulli, duo Sebastian dari Torro Rosso, Bourdais danBuemi serta Adrian Sutil dari Force India yang meski memakai mesin Mercedez seperti McLaren dan Brawn tapi masih belum bisa memetik tuah dari power mesin Mercedez seperti yang dialami Brawn. Hasilnya, keempat pembalap itu harus mengakhiri balapan ketika balapan itu baru dimulai.

Sementara itu, Jenson Button yang memimpin start disalip oleh rekan setimnya, Rubens Barrichello. Tapi balapan masih panjang. Jenson, si Mr. Smooth, tetap tenang dan tak mengalihkan tatapannya pada rekan setimnya itu.

Seperti ban mobil formula one yang berputar, perlahan keadaan pun mulai berbalik. Jenson yang semula akan melakukan tiga kali pit seperti Rubens mengubahnya menjadi dua kali pit sementara Rubens tetap pada rencana semula, melakukan tiga kali pit. Sekarang tinggal melihat taktik mana yang jauh lebih berhasil. Dan ternyata hasilnya kita semua telah tahu, Jenson berhasil merebut kemenangan kelimanya sepanjang karirnya (empat kali untuk tahun ini). Terbukti di formula one, membalap bukan hanya sekadar menyetir dan mengelilingi sirkuit puluhan kali tapi juga membutuhkan strategi sempurna yang artinya melibatkan otak.

Contoh lain adalah Vettel. Sepanjang balapan, ia tak terlalu jauh dari podium sementara Mark Webber, rekannya sepertinya kesulitan untuk mendapat posisi yang lebih baik. Tapi setelah Mark melakukan pit stop terakhirnya semua berubah. Webber yang sepanjang balapan tak terlalu terlihat spektakuler malah berhasil merebut podium ketiga sementara Vettel hanya bisa menatapnya dengan frustasi setelah lama tertahan di belakang Ferrari-nya Felipe Massa, dan baru pada lap-lap akhir ia berhasil lepas dari Massa dan langsung melesat kencang, tapi waktunya tetap tak cukup. Seandainya saja jumlah lap-nya ditambah bukan tak mungkin Vettel akan berhasil mengejar Webber dan merebut podium ketiga itu tapi balapan sudah usai dan ia terpaksa harus puas dengan tambahan lima poin setelah berhasih finish di urutan empat, di belakang Webber.

Sepertinya GP Spanyol memang senantiasa memberikan kenangan manis bagi Jenson Button. Tahun lalu pun saat Honda tak terlalu bagus, Jenson mampu memberikan tiga point pertama untuk tim Honda dengan finish di p6.

Lima tahun lalu ketika Jenson yang baru saja didepak Briatore dari Benetton-Renault demi memberi tempat bagi Alonso yang dimanagerinya itu tapi bersama BAR Honda, ia mampu membuat berdebar Ferrari dengan menjadi satu-satunya kompetitor terberat Ferrari dan menempel ketat Ferrari di perolehan point konstruktor.

Aku lupa tepatnya di mana apakah di GP Spanyol atau GP Imola 2004, tapi yang tak bisa kulupakan adalah aksi Jenson yang harus menyetir dengan sebelah tangan karena tangan yang lainnya digunakannya untuk memegangi tali helmnya yang mengalami masalah dan menyebabkan lehernya tercekik oleh tali helmnya itu. Yang luar biasa kala itu meski Jenson tak mampu mengalahkan Michael Schumacher yang sangat n tahun itu dengan F2004-nya, tapi Jenson berhasil menyingkirkan Fernando Alonso dengan hanya satu tangan. Dan Briatore, mantan bosnya di Renault hanya bisa mengerutkan keningnya melihat pembalap kesayangannya dikalahkan oleh pembalap yang telah didepaknya. Dan bagiku itulah balapan terbaik Jenson! Itulah ketika dunia melihat seorang juara dunia baru sesungguhnya telah hadir hanya waktu saja yang kelak akan membuktikannya.

Formula one memang tak bisa lepas dari hitung-hitungan matematika yang rumit dan serumit itu pula dalam menebak apa yang terjadi kemudian. Pada musim 2004 Button dengan tim BAR Honda menjadi kompetitor Ferrari dalam merebut gelar tapi justru pada musim itu Button tak memenangi satu GP pun dan justru pada tahun berikutnya di GP Hungaria 2005, barulah Jenson berhasil merasakan manisnya champagne pertamanya saat Honda-nya tak berhasil membuat mata publik pecinta F1 terbelalak seperti pada tahun sebelumnya.

Antony Davidson boleh mengatakan GP Bahrain kemarin merupakan balapan terbaik Jenson tapi bagiku balapan terbaik Jenson adalah ketika ia mengalahkan Alonso dengan satu tangan itu yang memperlihatkan kualitas seorang Jenson Button yang baru dibuktikan lima tahun kemudian. Semoga saja JB bisa mereguk hasil yang manis di akhir musim nanti dengan menjadi juara dunia. Hopefully. Go for it, Jense!

Fry: Button's experience gives him edge


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Tuesday, May 12th 2009


Jenson Button's experience will give him the edge if the world championship fight turns out to be a battle between himself and Sebastian Vettel.

That is the view of Brawn GP's CEO Nick Fry, who thinks that Button's 158 race tally - plus the up and down form he has enjoyed in his nine full seasons in F1 – may prove an advantage against his Red Bull Racing rival who is starting his second full season.

"I think anyone who has been in F1 for as long as Jenson has, and been through what he has been through, is much, much stronger than someone who is younger," Fry told AUTOSPORT.

"I think Sebastian is an absolutely sensational driver but I think Jenson's experience counts for something."

Fry believes that Button is revelling in the situation he finds himself in at the moment because of the troubled years he has had at BAR and Honda in recent years.

"I think that Jenson has just sort of continued to mature in a fairly gradual way," said Fry. "He has had a lot of war wounds along the way but that makes him even stronger now.

"He is very relaxed in himself and I think you've seen here in Spain again when he gets the bit between his teeth and wants to win then these days he is pretty formidable. He is someone who is 29-years-old now, he has a lot of experience, he is more comfortable in his own skin – and that makes a huge difference to his inner confidence."

Although Button has opened up a comfortable lead at the top of the title standings, Fry says Brawn is remaining cautious about its championship hopes.

"I think that our view is that it is still one race at a time," he said. "It is still very early in the year and it is great where we are, but I don't think anyone inside is thinking too much about that.

"It is do the best possible job – and that is what we are doing all along. Through the survival of the team we have learned to take one step at a time, and we really just continue with the same philosophy.

"Every day is a new day and we try and do our best. The guys are just doing a great job and there is a huge enthusiasm. They are getting into the swing of things now.

Donington race could be postponed


source : www.autosport.com
By Pablo Elizalde
Tuesday, May 12th 2009


Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says the British Grand Prix could skip a year if the Donington Park circuit isn't ready in time for next season.

"If the work at Donington is not finished in time, we would be happy to skip a year," Ecclestone told The Times newspaper.

Ecclestone made it clear he preferred the British race to be absent from the calendar for a year rather than return to Silverstone.

"I don't want to lose the British Grand Prix - that's the last thing we want to do, but we aren't going to Silverstone for sure," he added.

Doubts about the British GP at Donington re-emerged earlier this month after it was announced circuit owner Tom Wheatcroft was taking legal action against the track's leaseholders for unpaid rent.

Donington Ventures boss Simon Gillett denied the race had been jeopardised by the action against his company.

Gillett also insisted the rebuilding project would still be completed in time for the race.

Ferrari threatens to leave F1 in 2010


source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble
Tuesday, May 12th 2009


Ferrari has confirmed that it will not enter next year's world championship unless plans for a voluntary £40 million budget cap are changed.

Although the team had expressed private reservations about the rule changes and governing processes for 2010, it finally went public with its intentions in a statement issued following a board meeting at Maranello on Tuesday afternoon.

"The same rules for all teams, stability of regulations, the continuity of the FOTA's endeavours to methodically and progressively reduce costs, and governance of Formula 1 are the priorities for the future," said the statement.

"If these indispensable principles are not respected and if the regulations adopted for 2010 will not change, then Ferrari does not intend to enter its cars in the next Formula 1 world championship. "

Entries for the 2010 world championship close on May 29, with Toyota and Red Bull's two F1 teams having already announced in public that they will not enter if the rules remain unchanged.

It is thought likely that the other manufacturer teams will also join a 'boycott' of lodging an entry by the deadline - with only the current independents Brawn GP, Williams and Force India outfits set to apply.

As with other teams, Ferrari's main cause of concern is the possibility of a two-tier F1 - which would come into force should some teams adopt to run under budget cap restrictions next year while others choose unrestricted finances.

Regarding the FIA's World Motor Sport Council meeting on April 29 that ratified the 2010 regulations, the Ferrari statement said: "Although this meeting was originally called only to examine a disciplinary matter, the decisions taken mean that, for the first time ever in Formula 1, the 2010 season will see the introduction of two different sets of regulations based on arbitrary technical rules and economic parameters.

"The Board considers that if this is the regulatory framework for Formula 1 in the future, then the reasons underlying Ferrari's uninterrupted participation in the world championship over the last 60 years – the only constructor to have taken part ever since its inception in 1950 – would come to a close."

Although Ferrari is totally opposed to a two-tier F1 system, and has questioned whether or not it is possible for a £40 million budget cap to be introduced next year, the Italian outfit is also concerned about governance of the sport.

As well as being unhappy about the way the rules were pushed through last year, Ferrari thinks there has not been enough consultation with the teams.

"The Board also expressed its disappointment about the methods adopted by the FIA in taking decisions of such a serious nature and its refusal to effectively reach an understanding with constructors and teams," added the statement.

"The rules of governance that have contributed to the development of Formula 1 over the last 25 years have been disregarded, as have the binding contractual obligations between Ferrari and the FIA itself regarding the stability of the regulations."

In light of the developments regarding next year's entry, Ferrari said its president Luca di Montezemolo had been told to look at alternative activities for the racing team.

"Ferrari trusts that its many fans worldwide will understand that this difficult decision is coherent with the Scuderia's approach to motor sport and to Formula 1 in particular, always seeking to promote its sporting and technical values," said the statement.

"The Chairman of the Board of Directors was mandated to evaluate the most suitable ways and methods to protect the company's interests."

Despite Ferrari's strong stance, the FIA said earlier today that it was optimistic a solution to the matter could be found soon. Di Montezemolo is expected to meet with FIA president Max Mosley in the next few days to discuss the situation.

Ecclestone: Formula 1 is Ferrari


source: www.autosport.com
By Pablo Elizalde
Saturday, May 9th 2009


Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari and Formula 1 are perfect for each other despite the Italian squad's disagreements with FIA president Max Mosley.

Mosley and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have been at loggerheads since the governing body decided to introduce a budget cap for the 2010 season, meaning Formula 1 would become a two-tier championship.

The FIA president said Formula 1 could survive without Ferrari, the only team who has competed in every championship since 1950.

Ecclestone feels Mosley was just trying to hit back at di Montezemolo, and said Formula 1 is the perfect place for Ferrari.

"I don't think Max really meant what he said, he was just having a go at Luca a little bit," Ecclestone told Reuters.

"Formula One is Ferrari and Ferrari is Formula One. It's just a marriage made in heaven, one of those super things that work well."

The F1 supremo also reckons the Italian squad will return to the top following a poor start to the 2009 season.

"They'll catch up," said Ecclestone. "I think with (Jean) Todt gone, we've gone a little bit back to the way it was before Todt went there."

Selasa, 12 Mei 2009

Spanish GP - Sunday - Press Conference


Source: www.grandprix.com

10 MAY 2009
1. Jenson BUTTON (Brawn GP), 1h37m19.202s
2. Rubens BARRICHELLO (Brawn GP), 1h37m32.258s

TV UNILATERALS

Q: Jenson, another brilliant day for you and your team. A switch for your team-mate to a three stop strategy relatively early in the race and then just a great day for you.
Jenson BUTTON: Well, it was the other way around. We were both going that direction but they switched me to a two stop just to cover all our bases. Three stop was the quicker strategy we thought and I wasn’t sure about going to a two stop. When we put the fuel on board it felt very, very heavy and I didn’t think I would come out in front of (Felipe) Massa and (Sebastian) Vettel but I did. From then on I could get my head down and concentrate on putting the laps in and being as consistent as possible. So to come away with a win, they all mean a lot obviously but coming back to Europe and winning in Barcelona, a circuit that I’ve always found a little bit tough, it’s a good feeling and gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.

Q: Rubens, a great team performance as well. Tell us about the race from your point of view.
Rubens BARRICHELLO: The race evolved quite well. I had a great start, went to the lead. I was running a tiny bit quicker than Jenson to begin with and I had two more laps of fuel. It was running quite well and then I heard they changed Jenson’s strategy and I had to keep on pushing. My third set of tyres was not good. I don’t know if there was something broken on the car or anything. I could not keep my pace up as well as the last set, so I guess it wasn’t the tyre, it must be something to do with the car and from there on it was a struggle. I had a big struggle to keep the car on the track and a relief to come second and a big thank you to the whole group as it is still first and second back in Europe. Disappointed that I haven’t won the race as I thought I had it in the bag today but it is still a good effort from the whole team.

Q: Jenson, let’s have a look at the start. Your start with Rubens taking the lead and the first corner accident and weaving through the debris afterwards behind the safety car.
Button: Yeah, the start I felt was okay but Rubens got a flier of a start. I moved to the inside to try and hold the line but when he has got that much of an overlap at the start you can’t really do much about it into turn one. Rubens did a great start and I wasn’t able to stay with him on that and as soon as he was in front I knew it was going to be very difficult to beat him.

Q: And the mayhem behind you?
Button: We obviously didn’t see any of that. The only thing we saw was the debris. When we got to it the debris was all over the circuit, so it’s a surprise that there were no tyre issues afterwards as there were massive amounts of debris.

Q: When you come into that situation behind the safety car what are you looking for? What can you do to try and avoid issues with the tyres, etc?
Button: Well, you are very limited. If there is carbon fibre all over the circuit you are limited to what you can do. You have got your spotter, you have got your engineer who has been looking at the accident, he knows where the worst bits are. But look at the pick up on the tyre, it’s massive. And a great thing that there were no issues with the debris, so it is positive really.

Q: Rubens, as Jenson just said, a great start for you.
Barrichello: I had a great reflex and I did have a little better start than Jenson and I used his slipstream and was able to carry that momentum into the first corner.

Q: And then coming in for this earlier pit stop for your scheduled strategy?
Barrichello: I was on a lap or two longer. Obviously I think Jenson caught me up a little bit on the strategy because of the safety car. I was quite happy as having a lap longer and being in front I was delighted. I had the race in my hands, so I was actually quite surprised when they told me they had switched Jenson to two. From then on I had to go flat out. The only minor thing was that I came in a lap or two earlier on my final pit stop as there were lots of cars and blue flags and I was losing time.

Q: Jenson, let’s have a look at the start. Your start with Rubens taking the lead and the first corner accident and weaving through the debris afterwards behind the safety car.
Button: Yeah, the start I felt was okay but Rubens got a flier of a start. I moved to the inside to try and hold the line but when he has got that much of an overlap at the start you can’t really do much about it into turn one. Rubens did a great start and I wasn’t able to stay with him on that and as soon as he was in front I knew it was going to be very difficult to beat him.

Q: And the mayhem behind you?
Button: We obviously didn’t see any of that. The only thing we saw was the debris. When we got to it the debris was all over the circuit, so it’s a surprise that there were no tyre issues afterwards as there were massive amounts of debris.

Q: When you come into that situation behind the safety car what are you looking for? What can you do to try and avoid issues with the tyres, etc?
Button: Well, you are very limited. If there is carbon fibre all over the circuit you are limited to what you can do. You have got your spotter, you have got your engineer who has been looking at the accident, he knows where the worst bits are. But look at the pick up on the tyre, it’s massive. And a great thing that there were no issues with the debris, so it is positive really.

Q: Rubens, as Jenson just said, a great start for you.
Barrichello: I had a great reflex and I did have a little better start than Jenson and I used his slipstream and was able to carry that momentum into the first corner.

Q: And then coming in for this earlier pit stop for your scheduled strategy?
Barrichello: I was on a lap or two longer. Obviously I think Jenson caught me up a little bit on the strategy because of the safety car. I was quite happy as having a lap longer and being in front I was delighted. I had the race in my hands, so I was actually quite surprised when they told me they had switched Jenson to two. From then on I had to go flat out. The only minor thing was that I came in a lap or two earlier on my final pit stop as there were lots of cars and blue flags and I was losing time.

Q: Jenson, we won’t mention what lies ahead other than the immediate future which is the Monaco Grand Prix and what a momentum you now have.
Button: Yeah, it is a dream come true so far this season. Even when times are tough we seem to be able to get the wins. When it is going well, it goes well, doesn’t it. And it was the same last year. When it was going bad, it went really bad. I do feel like I am on top of the world at the moment as I am sure the whole team do also. They have done a magnificent job and with this new package you can see we have got a bit of an advantage again. I am very proud of all the guys back at the factory. I don’t think they get enough of a mention, the guys at Brackley, so thank you very much and also thanks to Mercedes Benz as we can’t do it without you.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q: Jenson, I mentioned earlier on today about that statistic about starting from pole. The last eight winners. Now it makes nine winners. But you were on the clean side of the circuit in theory and yet you got a worse start than Rubens who was on the dirty side.
Button: No, Rubens started right behind me.

Q: Yes, that’s right. You had Sebastian right behind you.
Button: Yes, thanks for that statistic. I was thinking about that when I came out of turn one second. It wasn’t the best start. It was a good start but this guy just got an amazing start and as soon as he was in front I couldn’t do anything about him on the first stint. Basically I was hoping I could get a big enough gap with Massa as I knew he was stopping a few laps longer. I thought if he gets in front of me then that’s it, I’m screwed. I was pushing him as much as I could and we both pulled away. Rubens pulled a little bit of a gap on me and I was able to get the gap to Massa. They realized I had enough of a gap to pit and exit in front of Massa even though he was stopping later, so they tried to cover both bases. We were both on a three stop initially and they put me to a two. The three was a quicker race we thought but obviously the two worked. As soon as I came out of the pits in front of Massa then it was just trying to put the laps in. It was difficult as I had a lot of fuel on board on that second stint. I had to push so hard on a heavy fuel load and I damaged the tyres quite a bit but I could get the lap time out of the car being aggressive with it. And that’s the good thing about this car. You can be aggressive and it doesn’t seem to eat up the tyres. It is not normally my style but it is a style I had to take for this race and it made the difference and Rubens had his problems with understeer on his third set of tyres. When I got onto the prime I could get a reasonable lap time out of them which most people couldn’t. There were lots of little factors which all came together and I crossed the finish line first. This is a race which I didn’t really think I was going to, so yeah, I am very happy and this means a lot going into the next couple of races.

Q: It sounds like you learned a little bit during this race as well?
Button: Yeah, I mean different circuits you have got to drive these cars with a different style. Bahrain is a circuit where a smooth style sort of helps and here I have found over the last couple of days that you can’t get the lap time by driving smoothly. You have to come out of the corner and plant the throttle. As you see from the on-board cameras there is a lot of nervousness and if you don’t have that you don’t have the lap time. It is something I have learnt and it definitely paid off learning from watching people but also learning from watching Rubens. Rubens has been very fast this weekend. I have obviously watched him out on the circuit and looked at his data, so he has helped me quite a bit.

Q: What about Monaco? Will that be a bit of a wild card as a race?
Button: It is very different and it is ‘chuck all the downforce on’ and don’t worry about the drag and see what happens. It is a circuit which I think is very similar to this. I think I have always been a little bit too cautious around circuits like this, so I have to change my style a bit to make it work on different circuits and Monaco is a circuit where I need to get the best out of the car and maybe change my style a bit from the first four races as it’s a bit more like here, so I am looking forward to it and this guy is going to be a big challenge there and that is what we look forward to, the challenge.

Q: It is going to be his birthday in Monaco. He is going to be expecting a birthday present.
Barrichello: Absolutely.
Button: We will see about that. I don’t think I can help out. I think that is down to you, fella?

Q: Rubens, your thoughts on today? How much was Massa a threat with his KERS?
Barrichello: He was always a threat before the race but I was very confident that we could have a good start. I was very determined to be very precise with everything and my race was like that. My race was very precise. From the first corner I thought leading the race and having a lap more than Jenson I would have won the race. I pushed from the very beginning as much as I could. There was never any time that I dropped any time as I just had to go flat out as soon as they told me that Jenson had switched to a two I thought there was some danger in there because when you have three and the guys are behind, he will be much faster but you can control the visibility and see where he is fast and where he is not and control the pace. But when I saw that he changed I was on my own and had to go flat out and I did. I couldn’t have done any better. On my third set I didn’t have the pace that I had on the first and second set. I don’t know why. It was just not there. I was locking wheels all over the place and the same thing happened to the final set, so I hope that the guys come back to me and say there was a small problem somewhere. But again, I go home happy with myself. I gave everything I could but unfortunately I missed by a little bit the victory.

Q: It is a big disappointment with the difference in strategies?
Barrichello: Well, it was a disappointment yesterday to have lost the pole position. But, you know you find energy, you put yourself up to the cage. I love the challenge as well and after I had the start I told myself everything is coming up again, so use your best knowledge and experience and speed. Everything was coming alive, so it is a disappointment not to have won the race today of course.

Q: And what was the tyre strategy and was there a big difference between the tyres?
Barrichello: No, I left the hards to the very end, so I think everyone must have struggled a touch more with that. The first three sets they had a common, maybe my third set had three or four laps more if they did but not that it would have meant a problem. Otherwise we would not have gone for three stops. As Jenson said we were both on three stops and they changed the strategy for him. Good for him, good for the team as we both covered one and two but I would like to understand why we changed that.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Ian Parkes - PA) Jenson, well done again. At what stage in the race did you get the call that you were switching to two stops? Who do you have to thank for that call and what were your thoughts initially?
Button: Well, it was about a lap before I stopped. It was very, very late and I think they were judging the distance between me and Massa. And initially I didn’t think it was a great idea because I wasn’t sure who I was racing at that point. Rubens was obviously in front and I had Massa and Vettel behind and initially I thought maybe they were worried that I was not going to get out in front of Massa and Vettel, so they were going to send me long, so I could get them at the next stop but obviously that isn’t what they were thinking and it was a very different situation to that. But when I first drove the car with a lot of fuel on board it was moving around quite a bit at the back and it took a while to find my feet but when I did - well, I had to, as soon as possible. Shov (Andrew Shovlin, race engineer) was on the radio, my engineer, shouting at me ‘you’ve got to put the laps in now, you’ve got to put the laps in now.’ And then closer and closer to Rubens’s second stop they were telling me ‘Rubens has got a three second advantage over you, you’ve got to keep pushing.’ Every lap was flat out, I’ve never driven in that style before and I’m sure when you watch it back on replay it looks pretty messy but it was the best way to get the lap time out of the car. I got every tenth and everything out of that car that I could do today.

Q: (Ian Parkes - PA) Who made that decision?
Button: I didn’t ask.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) It was basically the same question to you also; who does the strategy in the team? Is it Ross or is it your race engineer?
Barrichello: It’s a group. Ross is involved. A group, we are together and this morning we decided that three stops was the way to go. We came straight here (after the race) but after this evening we are going to have a meeting again and then we have some answers.
Button: I think it would be good if I believed that, in a way, but also I think that at this point of the season, as I’ve said, you need to be aggressive and you need to fight for every single point. There’s no point hanging back and expecting it to happen. We need to be very aggressive and we need to get everything out of this car at every race we go to, as I keep saying. It might be getting boring for you guys but it’s just the way it is. This was an important victory for me, for sure, first victory back in Europe, five races in and a reasonably good lead now. It’s a good feeling but I’m not getting comfortable. Rubens is very quick and he’s proved that this weekend, and also the Red Bulls, when they get it together they’ve got good pace and obviously Mark and Sebastian are doing a great job. Sebastian’s been ahead of us twice now in the last two races, so if he gets a free shot, like Mark, he’ll be close to Mark. It’s not easy and we’ve got to take every race as it comes and we are obviously going to look for a victory in every race that comes, so we need to be aggressive and have that style of racing, I think.

Q: (Ed Gorman - The Times) Jenson, you mentioned in the earlier press conference that you felt that the car is still ahead after this round of upgrades. Is that the case?
Button: If you look at the result you would say so but obviously Mark and Sebastian were both held up behind Massa and if they had free runs we don’t know what would have happened. I’m very surprised that Mark was able to sit on the back of Rubens. I think we’ve had very good weekends and this weekend you can say that our strategy was good, which it was - probably Rubens will say more on one car than the other - but I think when Red Bull have a clear shot at it and they do everything right, they are going to be competitive and we can’t forget that and they are going to be on us in Monaco for sure.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Rubens, I remember the Austrian race a few years with Michael (Schumacher), early in the season, and you were stopped to allow him to win. Are you afraid that this could happen again, seeing that Jenson is winning so much and you are trying to score points and probably looking for a championship, that this might happen again with the team pushing more for Jenson and you covering his shoulders?
Barrichello: Well, I’m very experienced with that, and if that happens, I won’t follow any team orders any more. I’m making it clear now, so everybody knows.
Button: I’m going to answer this a bit as well because this affects me. Our strategy said that a three stop was quicker, full stop.
Barrichello: It’s true, it’s much more different than it used to be at Ferrari. We have a much more friendly situation, so I’m not sitting down on the side blaming this or that. The race was finished half an hour ago and that’s the way it went. There’s no way I’m going to be crying here and saying I should have done this or that. It’s in the best interests of myself to learn what went wrong today because I had the ability to win the race but I didn’t and this is a full stop. Jenson is on a flyer and he’s doing very well. I think this weekend was really good for me because I worked quite hard on all the set-up and everything. We both learned to get better, we’re pushing each other very well. There’s a bit more pressure on my side, obviously, because he’s won four races and I’ve won nothing but I’m there, I’m working and I won’t stop working. I’m definitely raising my hands to the sky to give thanks because this is a great car. It was not long ago that people were putting flowers on my grave and saying ‘thank you very much for your job’ and so on. So I’m here, very much alive and happy and I’m going to make it work. It’s as it was some years ago but with a much more friendly atmosphere.

Q: (Druv Behl - Auto Exchange, India) Jenson, you mentioned that you need to be aggressive and it looks messy with this year’s car to be quick. Ordinarily, messy, aggressive and Monaco wouldn’t go very well together, so how will you approach the next race relative to years past?
Button: Well, I think you do need to be a bit more aggressive in Monaco. Obviously you’ve got the barriers as your limiting factor. As long as you stay off them you’re fine but you can’t pussyfoot round Monaco and that’s why I think Rubens has always been pretty spectacular around Monaco, Mark also, so it’s going to be a tough weekend in Monaco, for sure, for myself, but I go there full of confidence that I can have a good weekend, but for sure it’s not going to be a boring Monaco Grand Prix. I think there’s going to be a lot of very competitive people and I think you will see a very exciting qualifying, for sure, and I think the race could be interesting also.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Do you still see a challenge from Ferrari, McLaren and BMW - the big teams - or is it too late for a turnaround in terms of the championship?
Button: Well, it’s quite strange because BMW at the first race were competitive. You can say some of it is down to the strategy with the tyres but they did a good job. McLaren at the last race were surprisingly quick, the same with Ferrari here, in qualifying. They’ve had good races but they just haven’t had the consistency and I think that when you’ve started so far back compared to the competition, you’re throwing things at the car and I’m sure they’re putting lots of new parts on the car to improve it. Some might not work, some probably do work. It’s a much easier position for us, obviously, at the front. We can really test the parts and make sure they really are an improvement before we put them on whereas Ferrari and McLaren need to put as much performance on the car as possible. But they’re both great teams and they’ve both achieved so much in the past, as we all know. They’ve had tough years before, maybe not quite as tough but they will definitely bounce back. They’re very strong teams. We’ll see them being competitive throughout the year, I think.

Q: (Byron Young - The Daily Mirror) Does that question from the front there, that you’re winning races because you’re somehow being given better machinery or some advantage frustrate you? Does Rubens believe that?
Button: We both work very closely together within the team and it’s a very good atmosphere within the team. We’re all here to win; it went my way today and it might go Rubens’s way in Monaco and that’s just the way it is. He had a problem in his stint and I didn’t. I made it work and I won the race today but you know that can swing around at the next race and that’s the way we go racing and that’s the way racing should be and I think it has been, within most teams in Formula One. I don’t ever want to go down that avenue of talking about that because it’s so far from the situation within our team.