Turkish GP - Sunday - Press Conference
7 JUNE 2009
1. Jenson BUTTON (Brawn GP), 1h26m24.848s
Q: Jenson, on your slow down lap you used the word 'outrageous' to describe this car. That was an outrageous win for you today.
Jenson BUTTON: Thank you. I mean today the car was the best it's felt all year. We have been quick on other occasions and the car has been a bit loose and hasn't really suited my style but today the car was immense. It really was. I have got to say a massive thank you to everyone. It just keeps getting better. I don't know if this circuit suits our car more than others. I think some of it was due to the rubber on the circuit: That really helped our car. But, yeah, the car was fantastic today. I wish I could have all the boys on the podium. I had one of my engineers but they all deserved to be up there as they did a great job.
Q: Jenson, it must have been a nice moment for you on the opening lap when you are following Sebastian. We get towards turn nine and ten, a little bit of wind there, and he leaves the road.
Button: Yeah, at the start I was very happy that I got away in second position. My start was good actually on the dirty side of the grid. Sebastian covered the inside which I was surprised about as going onto the dirty side I didn't think was the best idea. We sat behind him for the first half of the lap and then Sebastian ran wide on the exit of ten and that was my opportunity. It is difficult to overtake here and as you might have seen we were sat on the limiter for a lot of the straight, so I would not have had the opportunity to pass at the end of the straights.
Q: You were under pressure from Sebastian on the second stint when he had a lighter fuel load. What was the situation like for you there?
Button: It was okay. I knew that he was going short. We sort of knew what lap he was going to stop on. But it is still never a nice feeling, even when you know you have got more fuel in the car, to see a car catching you eight or nine tenths a lap. I just had to be as consistent as I could. I knew that if Sebastian was behind me it was going to be difficult to overtake, so I backed off in the corners I could to help the exits and as soon as Sebastian pitted I pushed a bit harder and got the lap times down a bit. It was still an exciting race but I must say I personally think the races before this, especially Bahrain and Barcelona, I think the Red Bulls were on our pace. I really do but today we were a step ahead, so it is a nice feeling.
Q: Jenson, what a set up for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Button: Yeah, I said on the radio to my engineer. The British Grand Prix is always special even when times have been tough, so going there leading the championship by 26 points is quite a nice feeling. I am looking forward to it very much, so we will see what happens.
Q: Jenson, up until seven or eight laps from the end it was a margin of 20 seconds which is pretty remarkable.
Button: Yeah, and this is the first race really where the car has just been absolutely perfect for me. We have had very good pace in other races but I have still found it difficult to drive. But here the car has been fantastic. Coming from where we were on Friday we have made some good changes over the weekend. I think when the circuit grips up it really helps out car. I wanted the whole team on the podium with me as this was definitely a victory for all of us. To beat these guys fair and square is a great victory for us I think.
Q: What were the tyres like at the end of the race as the margin in the end was 6.7 seconds from 20 seconds?
Button: I don't really know how the tyres were in the last stint as I backed off quite a bit, saving the engine. As we have only got eight engines a season you have got to be careful with what you use and when, so I wanted to conserve the engine a little bit which I did. The tyres were okay. They started graining a bit but not anything that would have cost us any time. I also knew these guys were turning down as I could see their lap times dropping off, so the last 10 laps I am sure were not the most exciting in the race but that was the best option for me.
Q: Was Sebastian's three stop strategy a surprise to you?
Button: It was. It really was. Especially when he was behind me on the first stint by five or six seconds. I was very surprised that they went for a three, maybe they thought that we were going to do the same. I don't know. We filled the car up after we saw what they had done and it worked very well. But when you are leading with a five second gap and you see it closing down, whatever the guy's fuel load is behind you, it is still a strange feeling when he is picking you off a second a lap. When he caught me up I just had to cover the lines a little bit. We geared slightly wrong for this circuit as the wind changes quite a bit. I was on the limiter for five seconds on the back straight, so I was very worried about that and Sebastian slipping up the inside. But it was fine, so I was able to hold him off and I knew if he stayed behind me before he pitted on lap 32 or 31, that from then on it was an easier race for sure. The car was great to drive and I enjoyed every single lap. I didn't have any big moments or anything, so yeah, a great day for us.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Ian Parkes - The Press Association) Congratulations Jenson. Just watching you in the TV press conference, you looked a bit emotional, a bit teary-eyed. What is it about this win which has meant so much to you today?
Button: I think it was... every race that I've won this year has been pretty emotional. The old memories obviously come flooding back but I think it's because we thought it would be a much tougher fight today and also when you get into a car that every single lap you drive you've got a smile on your face because it's working so well; this race was that race. I could have carried on driving for another 200 laps because I was enjoying myself so much in that car. Today was a day when we've shown that we have made a good step forward. People will say that this is our true pace and it has been all year but that's not a fact. I've given everything every race this year and I think we've found the best pace possible at every race we've gone to this year but at this race I think we have made a step forward with the balance of the car and the aero of the car, so it was a nice feeling. Even ten laps in, 15 laps in I thought it's probably not a good idea but I really wanted to radio the team and say 'this car is just outrageous.' It was tempting fate a little bit, so I left it until the end of the race. But it was just a very enjoyable day. This is the day really that I think is for the whole team; I really wanted them to be on the podium with me. I suppose they are at every race but especially at this one. I think it meant a lot to the team because they could see how good the whole package was.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Jenson, the question is when are you planning to win this championship because it looks like you're pretty much unstoppable?
Button: I would love to win every single race this year but I've got another 19 guys on the circuit who want to stop me doing that. I'm in a good position, for sure. This race showed that we do have the best car but I think that we have the best package. I think this car really suits me, so I'm driving it at my best and everybody within the team is in a very good position and I think that they are giving a hundred percent also. You would say that the situation at the moment is perfect but it could very easily go the wrong way. These guys (Red Bull) can suddenly bolt something on that will bring them to our pace or even quicker, so you can't take it for granted and you've got to keep pushing. You can't lift off and hope for the best or try and take it easy. You still have to keep pushing. I've got a 26 point lead which is just out of this world but I'm still not going to lift off. I want to do the best job I can at every race I go to and I'm still going to make every move that I possibly can to win every race. But I also know that that is not going to be easy. I will have a bad race this year and I will get beaten and it's being ready for that situation I suppose.
Q: (Ercan Kazaz - Hurriyet) Jenson, the next race is in the UK. Do you expect the same support that Lewis enjoyed last year from your home fans, ad would that create pressure or motivate you?
Button: Every year I've been to Silverstone to race in Formula One it's quite amazing the support you get, even when you're not driving a competitive car and when you can't get a result you still get a lot of support which is fantastic. The British public has always been behind their drivers. Going there this year is obviously a different situation: I'm leading the championship. In previous years, when the car has been difficult to drive and we haven't had any results, in a way you're a little bit embarrassed because you've got so much support. You've got so much support but you can't give them anything back but to arrive there leading the championship, I feel that, in a way, it's giving them something to really get a hold of and sink their teeth into and really enjoy. Yeah, so arriving at Silverstone I'm going to be very excited and looking forward to the weekend but when you get into the car you're a hundred percent focused. In a way it's another race while you're actually in the car. Before and after it's very different, for sure, but the great thing is, a lot of people that work in Formula One are British, we have a lot of fans in the United Kingdom, so hopefully we will put on a good show for them and we will have a sell-out crowd and this will help us in the future have a Grand Prix in the UK.