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Kamis, 11 Juni 2009

Brawn: Button just keeps getting better

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By Jonathan Noble and Mark Glendenning

Brawn chief Ross Brawn has no doubts that Jenson Button is getting better with each race, after hailing his drive to victory in the Turkish Grand Prix as the best he has seen from the runaway title leader.

Button was dominant throughout the Istanbul race to take his sixth victory from seven races this year and open up a 26-point lead in the world championship standings.

And although he faced a stronger than normal challenge from the three-stopping Red Bull Racing car of Sebastian Vettel, Button put in a faultless performance that has left Brawn in no doubts about how good it was.

"Well, I think he had the perfect drive," said Brawn. "I mean, that was a really, really impressive drive.

"He pushed when he needed to, he looked after the tyres, he looked after the engine, he'd gained a little bit of fuel at different parts of the race where he had to look after the fuel consumption to make the laps.

"So I think it's probably the best performance - not necessarily the most dramatic - but probably the best performance that I've seen from him. He just seems to be getting better."

Although Vettel's hopes of victory were effectively dashed when the German ran wide on the opening lap of the race while in the lead, Brawn does not believe that his team's main rival had a chance of triumphing without that incident.

"If we'd stayed with him and been right on his tail, then I think we could have beaten a three-stop in a straight fight," he said. "But I don't know what his pace would have been like in subsequent sessions. So it's difficult to judge.

"Our calculations, at least here, showed that a three-stop wasn't the preferred strategy. Although it might have been the strategy to give you some free air to run if you were held up."

In contrast to Button's smooth ride to what is looking increasingly like a world championship, Brawn's second driver Rubens Barrichello suffered a nightmare in Turkey.

He nearly stalled at the start and then collided with several cars as he tried to recover through the field before eventually retiring with gearbox problems.

Brawn said he was unsure whether the stall at the start was the result of a driver error or car problem.

"It can be both," he said. "It can be a driver error, or it can be the fact that the optimisation that the driver is looking for is too sharp; it's too difficult to find.

"What they do is, they hold the revs and then they drop the clutch in a progressive way, and they have to try to have the right throttle pedal held, and those two things are too acute, and it's very difficult to do.

"He had a difficult start off the grid and made a few adjustments, but obviously they didn't work. "

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