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Senin, 04 Mei 2009

Brawn cautious despite early advantage

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With a score of 31 points from a possible maximum of 35, the opening four races of the 2009 season has been near perfect for Jenson Button. Brawn Mercedes team-mate Rubens Barrichello is second in the standings 12 points adrift while the Brackley-based team top the constructors’ championship by 22.5 points heading to Barcelona.

"The team had to make a tremendous effort simply to have two cars on the grid for the first race in Melbourne and the success that we have achieved has been a well-deserved reward for all our staff for their hard work which has been supported by the commitment of our engine partner Mercedes-Benz,” stated Team Principal Ross Brawn. “The short break which we have enjoyed since returning from Bahrain has enabled the whole team to regroup at our factory in Brackley and spend a little time reflecting upon our first four races.”

While it has undoubtedly been a dream start for the Brawn Mercedes team, Brawn knows that the development race is on and that the traditional front-runners will be working flat out to eliminate the advantage currently enjoyed with the BGP 001 package.

"Jenson, Rubens and the team delivered a first class job to win the Bahrain Grand Prix which is the level of performance that we must sustain if we are to seriously challenge for the championships this year,” Brawn continued. “The field has compressed considerably since the season-opening race in Australia and the performance margins at the front are now very tight indeed.

“Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona this weekend. "

Button has secured three wins from the first four races and one third position and travelled to the Brackley base last week for a ‘small celebration’ to mark the impressive season start but like team boss Brawn, knows that the championship still has a long way to go.

“I visited the factory last week to join the team for a small celebration of our successes to date and catch up on the progress with our latest developments,” the championship leader said. “We know that we have a real fight on our hands from here to maintain our lead in the championships but I am confident that we are well prepared for the challenges ahead.

“I know the track inside out and it feels very familiar to be heading back there for the start of the European season this weekend,” Button continued. “ You need to have a car with good downforce for a really quick lap there and we are fortunate that our car behaves so predictably which enables you to feel completely confident when committing to high speed corners.”

While Button has been making many of the headlines, veteran team-mate Rubens Barrichello has quietly been racking up the points as well. With 19 points from four starts, the Brazilian is very much still in the championship hunt.

"The Circuit de Catalunya feels like a home circuit for the drivers with so much of our pre-season testing taking place here over the winter,” Barrichello explained. “The Spanish Grand Prix is always one of my favourite races on the calendar as it feels like this is where the season really begins..."

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