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."