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Senin, 27 April 2009

Post-race press conference - Bahrain



Q. Jenson, the dream start to the year continues. And this was a dry race, this was a race all the way.

Jenson BUTTON: It was indeed. This was a tough race for us. You might say I was leading for most of it but this race we had not the pace we had in the first three races. I don't know where it has gone. I guess these guys have just caught up and maybe passed us. But the first lap of the race I knew was very important because Sebastian was going longer, so I made it work and I came out of the first corner in third. From then on it was a tough race but very enjoyable.

Q. Jenson, as Sebastian said, he did get stuck behind Lewis Hamilton. But you had an interesting battle with Lewis and managed to get the better of him very early in the race and that proved to be decisive.

JB: It was. He is very difficult to overtake anyway but on the first lap he made a few mistakes and I dived down the inside of him at many different places. And on the straight I thought I could get alongside him and I did out of the last corner and then he pushed his button and pulled back in front and I had to tuck back in behind again and get the tow off him and I was able to get him into turn one. That move really made the race for us. I knew I had to make it stick and I did, so I am very happy. This race win for us is probably the best out of the lot as we don't have that competitive edge. And also it is the fourth flyaway. We have got a lot of bits that need to be changed and it is all getting a bit aged now, so to come away from this win it is great going back into Europe and we can look at improving the car.

Q. Jenson, Ross Brawn was very concerned before the start of the race about the heat factor, particularly with your change at the last minute going into the season with the Mercedes engine and the data you had. As it turned out both cars were fabulously reliable and of course the heat was a factor for you too. Talk us through your emotions now after this third win of the season.

JB: For us it is very difficult because of the heat. But this is one of those circuits that isn't really that physical, so we could cope. The engine, we were a little bit worried about, as the temperatures have been very high in testing and in qualifying and I wasn't able to do the running I would have liked, so to come away with the win at this point of the season I am chuffed to bits. The whole team should be very proud of themselves. They have worked so hard. As you probably know we are much smaller than we used to be and they are having to work doubly hard to get the job done, so I am very proud of all of them and they should be also. Page 3 of 6 PRESS CONFERENCE

Q. Jenson, you are surprised to have won here. What made the difference?

JB: The first lap. To start with I got a poor start. I did a practice start coming into the pits and I was struggling with clutch slip and off the line I had exactly the same thing, so it was very lucky that I didn't lose more place. At the start the clutch slip wasn't too bad and then it was at turn one I had to make a move to get past Sebastian because they were obviously stopping later than us and it would have made the race very difficult. I was able to get around the outside and then the chance came up of getting past Lewis which was very difficult I must say because he was blocking very well but then at the last corner he made a slight mistake, so I pulled alongside him on the straight and I knew as soon as we got to the start-finish line he was going to push his KERS button and he did and he pulled away again, so I had to jump in behind and then did him into turn one. The first lap was what made the race really.

Q. Your fight back in the early laps was action packed for all of you.

JB: Good. The end of the race may not have been so exciting but the start of the race was very good for me and chasing down the two Toyotas. They seemed very quick on the option tyre and I was surprised a little bit by the pace and I wasn't sure how it was going to work out. I didn't even know that Jarno was behind Timo at that point in time. But it all worked out well and Sebastian got stuck behind Lewis which helped us but the biggest problem for me was backmarkers. I am sorry if my radio was played live as I might have said a few words that weren't good for TV but the traffic was terrible out there. They were a long way in front but I just couldn't get any closer. Plus when I exited the pits and went down to turn four and (Robert) Kubica shot past me with his KERS and overtook me and unlapped himself which was a little bit frustrating. That was the most difficult thing for me, trying to stay on top of that.

Q. Was the tyre wear roughly the same with the two different sets of tyres? What about the brakes? Any problems with the brakes?

JB: Brakes weren't too bad. We were worried going into the race a little bit about temperatures. On Friday and Saturday we were struggling a little bit and we thought we might have to run the race with reduced revs which would have been a disaster. But lucky enough we had clear air for most of it. We kept the engine reasonable cool and the brakes were fine, so we were in good shape. I think if Sebastian did not have the traffic it would have made the race very interesting as I think our pace was very similar but that was not to be and we obviously came away with the win which I am very happy about.

Q. And were you conserving things at the end basically?

JB: Yeah, the last sort of 15 laps we had to conserve it a little bit as this is a lot hotter than what we expected. It is not just the engine but everything on the car including the driver, so conserving it a little bit. And with the way the regulations are these engines have to do a lot more running than normal, so you have to look after them a little bit.


Q. (Ed Gorman - The Times) Anthony Davidson told the listeners of Radio Five Live that he considered this to be the finest race drive that you've produced in your career. Would you agree with him on that?

JB: I'd certainly say it was the finest first lap of my career, for sure. I was very happy with the race. I didn't feel that I put a foot a wrong at all. It's nice to be in a car where I can show what I can do, even in a difficult situation because it wasn't a perfect situation. It's a very special feeling to have got this win. And thanks to the Ginger Racer, as I call him, for those nice comments.

Q. (Ed Gorman – The Times) Can you just tell us a bit more about the overheating issues because we heard that you'd had to cut away some part of the bodywork to help the cooling in the car.

JB: There's nothing different this race to the last race. We didn't expect it to be as hot as it is here. All weekend we've been struggling a little bit and even in qualifying I couldn't do three laps hard. I had to do a quick lap, slow lap, quick lap. It made it very difficult in practice as well because you couldn't get the long run pace. It's been a tough weekend from that point of view and if we were sat behind a car Page 5 of 6 for a stint like these two were, it would have been no way. We would have had to drop back two or three seconds to get some clear air.

So that's a weakness but luckily enough I had the clear air and our reliability was very good. I'm sure we've got to look at what damage it's caused for the next races because you know these engines have to do a lot more mileage than normal, so we will see. But the win was more important, I felt, and we came away with a very special win this weekend, for sure. As for the heat, my feet were warm and I've burned the top of my left buttock on a box – there's an electrical box there. It's a little bit burned, so hopefully we can solve that issue. I'll get you stroking it later, Sebastian, don't worry!

Q. (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) Your teams proved to be the most competitive ones so far but starting from Barcelona, your competitors will introduce some changes in the cars. Do you expect a different story for the championship?

JB: Well, at the moment you would say that these three teams sat here have been the most consistent, you're right, but I would say that the McLarens seem to be a lot more competitive this weekend. They made a step forward in China. Supposedly they haven't had anything new on the car here but they've moved forward a lot and Lewis ended up fourth. They've obviously done a good job, so you can't forget McLaren. When we start in Europe I'm sure they are going to have some new parts and they are going to be very competitive. It's positive that we've got some points on them already.

Q. (Ian Parkes – The Press Association) Jenson, I think it's pretty much accepted that every team is going to have major upgrades for Barcelona. Is it a case that the fight for the title will really start in Spain now?

JB: We've had four races; they've been pretty important to us, especially at the start of the season when people have got reliability issues or making mistakes, we've been able to pick up the points which is great. When we get to Europe we don't know where anyone is going to be. We know that these two teams alongside me here are going to be competitive but we don't know how and the same for McLaren. We have an upgrade coming in Barcelona, I just hope it's enough. We have to wait and see. Nobody knows. And the thing is we can't go testing either, so we don't get that chance to get the feel for it. So it's exciting going back to Europe and I think that for Formula One this is great. There's so much change already in the sport and going back to Europe it's going to be even more change. I think that's what this sport needed and I think we've got it.

Q. (Tom Cary – The Daily Telegraph) Jenson, I know you expected it but when Lewis pulled up alongside you so quickly off the start did you fear the worst?

JB: Well, he didn't actually use his KERS to get me, I don't think, because he was past me before he actually got to 100kph. You don't really think about it at that point in time, you just get your head down Page 6 of 6 and see what you can do at the first corner. Our braking is good here and I knew that I had looked after the tyres and got them in good shape for the first corner under the brakes, so I knew that I could brake very late and it showed in turn one, so yeah, I knew that I had to get past Sebastian, that was the main thing, and if I could get past Lewis that was a bonus.

Q. (James Allen – Financial Times) Jenson, you looked very comfortable leading the race. Is there a feeling now with three wins that you feel that this is beginning to feel more and more my thing, I feel like I expect this, I belong here?

JB: Well, every race is exciting and if you can stand on the top step afterwards it's exhilarating but if I don't win a race... for example in Shanghai I was happy to finish on the podium but when you've won two races the win is exciting and that's the same for all of us. We're all racing drivers, we all want to win the race but it's still not easy at the front. Our car is competitive but it's still not easy to drive and that's something that we need to work on because I had a lot of moments during the race where I was wide, locked up rears or fronts. Maybe it's not just the way that our car was balanced, maybe it's just a new set-up on the car, the way it works but you see a lot of people getting out of shape now. It's tough for us but maybe good for you guys to watch.

Sunday Team Quote - Taken from
Jenson Button (1st): "It was a great race today and I'm so happy to have seen the chequered flag without a safety car or red light in front of me! To achieve my third victory of the season is amazing and we are going back to Europe with a strong lead in both championships. I couldn't wish for anything more. It has been a tough weekend for the team which makes this win even more rewarding as we didn't have the pace that we expected. I was really happy with my first lap. I knew that I had to overtake Sebastian quickly and got him round the outside on turn one. I had a couple of attempts at Lewis round the first lap and almost got him at the last corner. I knew that he would pull away from me on the straight so I dropped in behind and used the tow to overtake him at turn one. It wasn't easy from there but getting up to third on the first lap was crucial for me. Our thanks to Mercedes-Benz this weekend who have not only provided us with a powerful engine but have integrated so well with our team. You need a close-knit unit to succeed in Formula One and that is what we have at this team."

Senin, 20 April 2009

Chinese GP - Sunday - Press Conference


Chinese GP - Sunday - Press Conference
19 APRIL 2009
3. Jenson BUTTON (Brawn GP), 1h58m28.460s

Q: Jenson, a great race for you with lots going on. Obviously some problem with the car as the conditions worsened?
Jenson BUTTON: Well, I think everyone was struggling with the aquaplaning out there. It was pretty crazy conditions into the last corner. As Sebastian said it was a just a lake and you couldn't actually brake for the corner. A few other places were the same. I was just really struggling with the tyres. They were shuddering. They shudder because you can't get temperature into them, front and rears. It was a difficult race and every lap you thought you were going to throw the car off. You really did, so to finish the race is an achievement and to come home on the podium is also great. We couldn't challenge these two guys today, they were immensely quick. But it is great to get six points on the board and that's important to keep the consistency.

Q: Jenson. Some fun and games mid-race. Quite a lot going on between you. Maybe I should let both of you now describe the action. You can fight amongst yourselves about who wants to do the commentary on the clips we are going to see next?
Button: For me I was pretty much just always out of control. I was just waiting for Mark to appear, well not appear in my mirrors, but appear in the front. I locked up the fronts in that corner. I was struggling there with locking up the tyres.

Q: What is going on here Jenson?
Button: I was just trying to get some heat in the tyres. I am not trying to weave and keep people behind. I was really struggling with that. I don't think they have shown Mark going past me around the outside at turn seven. I didn't have a clue where he was and he was alongside at turn eight and it was such a shock as you can't see anything when it is raining. Then he just cut across the front and made the move stick. For me it was impossible to do anything about it. As soon as these guys get near you or alongside you, you cannot challenge them and it would have been silly to have tried.

Q: It looks from that if you had more problems getting the tyres to work than the two Red Bull drivers?
Button: Well, I don't know if everyone else did. Rubens and myself struggled quite a bit. I don't know what the reason for that is. Obviously the car is working in a different way but I hope we will solve those problems in the future because we cannot let these guys be that far in front.

Q: Jenson, tell us about your battle with Mark.
Button: I knew that the Red Bulls obviously had very good pace, we saw that in the first stint and when the safety car came in, they seemed to be very strong from the word go. Our pace could get closer to them but when we're on cold tyres, they could really get their car working which is very impressive. But after the first stop, I was back in front of Mark, due to the difference in stop laps and really it was all going OK. I felt like I was really slow, because I was trying to miss every river, but the problem with that is that it changes every lap, the conditions are changing every lap and the position of the rivers is changing every lap, so it makes it very, very difficult and when I saw that myself and Mark were pulling away from the people behind, I was reasonably happy with the pace then, I could just sort of settle into a pace. And then I got to the second to last corner and locked up the fronts, Mark went through, I tried to stay with him but there was no chance and then he made a mistake in the last corner where I jumped back past him again. The problem was, for everyone who was racing, you can't see the car in front, where he is and when you're in front you can't see the car behind. It makes it quite dangerous. You might say it's more fun, but it's not, it's quite dangerous. Mark did a great move round turn seven, round the outside. It seemed that they could run on the really wet parts of the circuit and actually break through the water on the circuit, whereas we just seemed to float over the top. I don't know if that was because we were running the car too low or what but that's where he made the move, made it stick and from then on really it was just holding on and getting to the end of the race, because for all of us, however quick or slow you drive, it's just as dangerous and it was so easy to throw the car off (the track) as we saw with Sutil, a pretty fast part of the circuit. It could have easily have happened to any of us. I'm very thankful that we got to the end of the race with both cars and I was able to get on the podium. It's a great result for me but you've got to say 'well done' to these guys because they drove well and obviously their car is working well as well.

Q: To you, to what extent were you expecting these conditions today, all the way through the race?
Button: I didn't expect so much aquaplaning. If it's wet, it's wet. You can normally master the line and try and find an area on the circuit where it's dry or where you're not aquaplaning, but here it's very, very difficult. You're aquaplaning as you come onto the main straight, as you go down the dip across the start and finish line and in that condition there's nothing you can do and it's very, very scary in a way. So getting to the end of the race, in spite of being third and not being on the top step, it's such a relief and such a great feeling that we've been able to come away with these points.

Q: Were you expecting these conditions though?
Button: We thought it would be raining today but it's amazing the amount of water build-up considering it hasn't been raining that hard, compared to Sepang. The scary thing was that normally when you follow a car you see the two lines in the water and you know exactly where they've been and you can follow that line because there's less water there but I never saw any lines on the circuit. That was the amazing thing. The water doesn't seem to clear and that was the worst thing about it, I think.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Jenson, you've been around for a little while already. When we have wet races, they seem to be started behind the safety car and you've mentioned the problems with visibility; what is different from the past, are the cars too fast for wet races, are they producing too much spray?
Button: That's a difficult one. I haven't been around that long, maybe longer than these two! There's always been a lot of spray in Formula One. I don't think that has changed. For some reason we seem to be having a lot of wet races over the last couple of years which I think stick in our memories more. The problem with getting temperature into the tyres is more of a new issue for me, anyway. You know we didn't have that so much in the past. The tyres don't seem to work as well as previously in the very wet conditions. We don't seem to be able to break through the water. Obviously these guys could get it to work, so it wasn't such a bad problem for them but it's something that's very strange, that we're struggling so much with aquaplaning and tyre shuddering which we didn't use to have four or five years ago. It's very difficult to remember that far back but I don't remember having such big issues. The wet is always difficult but this year and Fuji two years ago and a couple of wet races in between have for me been a lot more difficult and challenging for sure, because of the aquaplaning and just not getting heat in the tyres.

Chinese GP - Sunday - Team Quote
Jenson Button (3rd): "A very difficult race today and I am so pleased that we got both cars to the end of 56 laps and scored as many points as possible. The conditions were pretty crazy with rivers of water all over the circuit which changed every time you encountered them. The last turn particularly was like a lake and you just couldn't brake for the corner. I struggled with the car aquaplaning and the tyres shuddering as we couldn't get the temperatures high enough to make them work properly. Mark Webber and I had a good fight for a few laps but I just couldn't stay with him. However to finish the race today is an achievement in itself and to be on the podium is fantastic. We couldn't have beaten the Red Bulls and congratulations to Sebastian and Mark on a great result."

Minggu, 19 April 2009

Mimpi itu masih ada ….

Menyedihkan melihat Button tak berhasil membuat hattrick di GP China yang basah tapi cukup puas juga dengan podium ketiga yang diraih Button.

Balapan dibuka dengan panduan safety car karena hujan deras yang mengguyur Shanghai dan setelah safety cars masuk kandang, balapan mulai dipenuhi maneuver-manuver overtaking di atas lintasan yang masih licin karena air hujan. Button pun berhasil melesat dari grid kelima menuju urutan keempat setelah Alonso masuk pit.

Perlahan Button pun berhasil merangkak naik ke urutan pertama setelah Webber dan Vettel (RBR Renault) masuk pit. Button pun berhasil menjaga irama balapnya dan terus memperlebar jarak dari Rubens Barrichello, rekan setimnya yang berada di belakangnya.
Sayangnya kepemimpinan Button tak bertahan lama. Safety Car kembali keluar setelah sirkuit dipenuhi serpihan-serpihan Toyota-nya Trulli yang mengalami tabrakan setelah sebelumnya sempat spin, Trully akhirnya harus mengakhiri balapannya lebih cepat.

Setelah keluar pit, ia masih bisa berduel dengan Webber. Pergantian posisi di antara mereka pun terjadi beberapa kali sebelum akhirnya Webber yang berhasil memenangkan duel dan memantapkan posisi keduanya hingga akhir race sementara Button harus puas di urutan ketiga.

Hasil yang tak terlalu memuaskan untuk Button dan Brawn GP setelah sebelumnya tim debutan ini dihantam kasus diffuser yang dianggap illegal tapi toh tim-tim lainnya pun ramai-ramai mengubah diffuser mereka demi mendekati kecepatan Brawn GP yang begitu mengesankan di dua balapan awal.

Perjalanan menuju gelar juara dunia memang masih panjang. Memang ada beberapa yang menyangsikan kemampuan Button untuk merebut gelar bergengsi ini dan sepertinya Button memang masih harus bekerja super keras untuk membuktikan kemampuannya dan bahwa ia pantas menyandang gelar juara dunia formula one.

Go Jenson! Prove you can do better!

Oh, ya, lewat tulisan ini aku pun ingin mengungkapkan terima kasihku pada Selvia Lusman, my truly best friend ever for an award that she gave to my blog. My first award. And by this I wanna share something about my best friend.

We have been friend since we were in Junior High School. Darinya aku jadi memahami banyak hal. Ia telah membuka cakrawala dan cara pandangku menuju arah yang lebih luas. Dia pula yang mensuportku untuk segala hal.

Pun ketika aku malas menulis (dua tahun aku vakum menulis. Aku malas menulis puisi apalagi fiksi setelah pensiunnya Michael fiksi terakhirku mengenai Michael setelah GP Jepang usai).

Dia pula yang senantiasa membangkitkan kecintaanku kembali pada formula one, yang tak lagi membuatku semangat setelah karir balap Michael berakhir (meski ia masih kerap hadir di beberapa GP sehubungan dengan tugasnya sebagai Super Assistant di tim lamanya itu).

Ia mengingatkanku bahwa masih ada satu pembalap jagoanku selain Michael yaitu Button (yang kuharap setelah pensiunnya Michael, Button bisa menjadi suksesor Michael), ia bilang siapa tahu suatu saat nanti Button akan bersinar seperti harapanku meski aku sempat sangsi terlebih beberapa bulan sebelum musim balap 2009 dimulai, Honda, tim pabrikan tempat Button bernaung malah cabut dari ajang balap paling bergengsi sedunia ini (hik hik sedih banget waktu itu, mikirin karir Button yang serba tak pasti dan sepertinya tak ada satupun tim yang berminat menampungnya karena dua kasus buttongate yang pernah dilakukannya).

Tersiksa rasanya melihat formula one tanpa Michael dan Button yang selalu berada di deretan belakang. Terlebih setiap kali melihat senyum lebar Kimi (yang menjadi idolanya sahabatku itu) di podium. Terlebih setiap kali sahabatku itu tak bisa menonton balapan, ia memintaku mencatatkan posisi Kimi dan catatan waktunya (ih, kupikir tega banget deh, ga sadar apa bahwa melihat Kimi meraih kesuksesan demi kesuksesan apalagi menjadi juara dunia merupakan siksaan bagiku karena aku tetap menganggap seharusnya Michael bisa meraih gelar kedelapannya sebelum pensiun, dan sampai kini pun aku tetap merasa Ferrari berhutang satu gelar untuk Michael, eh malah penggantinya yang meraih gelar itu. Alasan lain antipatiku pada Kimi karena aku menganggap Kimi yang menyebabkan petinggi Ferrari, Luca de Montezemolo untuk mendepak Michael meski Michael telah memberikan kesuksesan besar bagi tim kuda jingkrak itu padahal sebelum kedatangan Michael, kuda jingkrak seperti kuda lumping saja layaknya, tak bertenaga, tak menghasilkan prestasi yang berarti meski beberapa pembalap hebat seperti Alesi telah bergabung). Meski sebenarnya ia malah melakukan hal yang jauh lebih baik dariku. Ia mengeprint semua gambar-gambar Michael di podium untukku hanya untuk membuatku bersemangat kembali, membangkitkan minat menulisku yang sepertinya padam setelah kehilangan idola (he... he... he... sepertinya aku memang drama queen seperti yang dikatakan sahabatku itu).

Tapi persaingan di formula one terlebih berita-berita politik seputar formula one tak kalah seru dari aksi para pembalap di sirkuit kembali menarikku dari duka nestapaku yang kehilangan seorang idola. Bahkan tahun lalu, aku bisa bersemangat menonton formula one meski Button waktu itu masih memble (mungkin karena Kimi ditimpa apes kali ya, he…he…he…, sorry kalau fans Kimi protes).

Ternyata apa yang dikatakan sahabatku yang baik itu (meski selalu ngomel setiap kali aku menjelek-jelekkan Kimi yang menurutku memang jelek ) dan sering menimbulkan perdebatan-perdebatan konyol seperti seminggu lalu, waktu dia meng-sms-ku mengenai komentar Surtees dan Lauda yang mengatakan Michael yang menyebabkan gagalnya Massa dalam sesi qualifying Malaysia. Aku langsung mengeluarkan statement yang tentunya membela Michael dengan berapi-api (namanya juga fans berat) dan karena aku ngebego-begoin kedua pembalap Ferrari yang tak mengerti masalah teknik, dia jadi berang (mengingat dia juga fans berat Kimi).

Perdebatan yang kubilang konyol dengan saling berbalas sms terjadi. Kubilang konyol karena sebenarnya yang kami ributkan itu kan seperti pepesan kosong saja, bukan? Padahal kurasa Michael mungkin cuek aja (meski menurut teman-teman terdekatnya seperti Jean Todt sebenarnya Michael orang yang perasa dan lembut hati) dan Kimi yang katanya cool itu juga mungkin tak ambil pusing.

Tapi sepanjang persahabatan kami memang seringkali kami saling mendebatkan hal-hal yang konyol dan childish.

Kembali ke formula one. Apa yang dikatakan sahabatku itu akhirnya menjadi kenyataan juga (meski sebenarnya saat itu ia cuma bermaksud membangkitkan semangatku untuk menonton formula one dan mengingatkanku ada satu jagoanku yang lain selain Michael). Karir Jenson mulai bersinar kembali meski harapanku untuk melihat Jenson menjadi juara dunia masih jauh tapi jalan untuk itu sudah terbuka lebar tinggal menunggu dewi fortuna berpihak pada pemuda dua puluh sembilan tahun yang telah mengalami banyak pasang surut di dunia yang digelutinya dan dicintainya itu.

At least but not least, I want to say thanks again to my best friend for your award. Meski ada beberapa perbedaan antara kita but you still my very best friend and I always be thankful to have a friend like you (he… he… meski aku tak selalu menjadi sahabat terbaik bahkan ketika Kimi kalah aku malah bergembira di atas penderitaanmu).

Seperti mimpi Button yang mulai terbentang lebar kuharap semua mimpimu pada akhirnya akan tercapai pula ( I wish ...)

Brawn says tyre temperature crucial

By Matt Beer
Sunday, April 19th 2009

source :

Ross Brawn cited tyre temperature issues as the cause of his Brawn GP team's first defeat at Shanghai today.

After winning the first two grands prix of the season, Jenson Button had no answer to the pace of the Red Bull cars in China and finished third, ahead of his team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

The result kept Button and Brawn GP at the head of the championship standings.

"It's a good world championship position," Brawn told the BBC. "We weren't quite quick enough today, particularly when the water was very heavy, the drivers found it quite difficult. Red Bull did a great job."

He said his drivers had struggled to keep heat in their wet tyres as effectively as the Red Bulls had.

"We were struggling with tyre temperature after the safety car came in," Brawn explained. "That may have been a factor because when the cars came out after pitstops it didn't seem too bad, and when we could got temperature it was okay. Rubens actually had the fastest lap."

But he added that the team should still be extremely content with its start to the season despite its winning streak ending.

"The fact that we're disappointed with third and fourth says a lot," said Brawn.

Button: We couldn't challenge Red Bull

By Simon Strang
Sunday, April 19th 2009

source :

Jenson Button admitted he was powerless to stop Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominating the wet Chinese Grand Prix for Red Bull.

The world championship leader finished a distant third for Brawn GP, having only led the race during the two pitstop windows. This was in stark contrast to his commanding victories in the first two races of 2009.

"We couldn't challenge these people [Vettel and Webber] today, who were immensely quick, but it is great to score six points which is important for the consistency," said Button, who revealed that he had struggled to get heat into his wet tyres during the race and actually weaved down the back straight on occasion to try and warm them up.

"I wasn't weaving to block honestly! I just wanted to get heat into the tyres," he said.

"Rubens [Barrichello] and myself struggled quite a bit, I don't know what reason for that is, car working in a different way, we will solve those problems in the future."

Button, a renowned wet weather driver, added that the conditions had proved challenging and that he was relieved to have taken a podium from a difficult race.

"I think everyone was struggling with the aquaplaning out there, it was pretty crazy conditions into the last corner - it was a lake and I couldn't brake for the corner," he said. "A few other places were the same, the tyres shuddered as you couldn't get temperature in to them.

"It was difficult race and every lap you thought you were going to throw the car off, you really did. So to finish the race was an achievement and to come home on podium is also great."

Symonds disagrees with Briatore about Button

source :

Pat Symonds has refused to back his boss Flavio Briatore over claims Jenson Button is too slow to be a worthy world champion.

In responding to Renault chief Briatore's assertion this week that Button can be likened to a concrete bollard, championship leader Button hit back by revealing that the French team tried to hire him for 2009.

Symonds, Renault's director of engineering, confirmed the Briton's claim in conversation with the BBC in Shanghai.

"We talked to a lot of people though the winter; anyone who's available, we'll assess them," he said.

Symonds, who like Briatore worked alongside Button at Benetton/Renault in 2001 and 2002, made clear he does not agree with Briatore's current assessment of the Brawn driver.

"I personally think he's a damn good driver and I think he's showing it at the moment," the 55-year-old said.

"He hasn't been in the best cars in the last couple of years but he's showing what he can do now and good luck to him,” he added.

Brawn plays down possible FOTA exit


Ross Brawn has played down the possibility that the diffuser saga could cost the Formula One Teams' Association his team's membership.

Flavio Briatore in Shanghai warned that at the next meeting he will not only call for the removal of Brawn as FOTA's technical chairman, but that the body should attempt to block the former Honda team from receiving any commercial or travel income.

Until now, FOTA’s strength has been its total unity in facing down F1's ruling authorities, the governing FIA and commercial rights representative Bernie Ecclestone.

Faced with the hostility of fellow FOTA members, then, Brawn's best weapon would be to threaten his withdrawal from the body of the Brackley team, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine suggests.

But Brawn is quoted as saying: "It would be wrong to mix the sporting and political sides. On the track we are opponents, but we can also fight for common goals."

While it is arguably in Ecclestone's interests to see FOTA break up, the F1 Chief Executive has refused to back Briatore's hostility.

"It’s a pity they don't talk more about racing than politics," he said in Shanghai. "We seem to have got a lot of team managers who've become politicians."

Q & A with Jenson Button

By Jonathan Noble
Sunday, April 19th 2009


Q: How was it in qualifying, are you disappointed?

Jenson Button: It was okay. My last run in qualifying was not too bad. Because we struggled a little bit because we were with the FFA - it wasn't working in the high speed corners. Well it wasn't working on one side so I lost a little bit of time, but still not enough to be anywhere near pole position.

We struggled in Q2 compared to the Red Bulls, they seem to be very competitive. Three tenths is quite a lot of time so I don't how it's going to go on Sunday. We'll see what fuel loads they are on, but I am guessing they are going to be on pretty similar to us. Our race pace, certainly looking at today and yesterday, seems to be a bit better than the Red Bulls but we are behind. It is always very difficult.

But it makes the race interesting for sure, going to make it very exciting. A little bit of a surprise but in Melbourne they were also very quick. We had the legs on them, but I don't know about here.

Q: After such a great start to the season does it actually feel a disappointment not to be on pole?

JB: It's not a disappointment because we are still up there, we are still fourth and fifth, so it's not really a big issue. It's just going to be very tough on Sunday to come away with a victory. It makes it interesting, especially starting fifth on the grid.

Q: Showers are predicted for just before the race on Sunday?

JB: Oh really, well our forecast is saying it will be dry until the evening. So we will see. For some reason it is normally damp at the start, even if it's not raining. But if it is dry I think we can still have a good race, I don't know what strategy the two Red Bulls are on - even if they are on the same fuel load they may be on a different strategy than us so we will have to see.

Q: Given the problems they had with their driveshafts, do you think you have a reliability advantage over the Red Bulls?

JB: Well we haven't had reliability problems so you could say that we have had good reliability and they have had issues, but I am sure they have solved them.

Q: Do you think the Renault is very light on fuel?

JB: I don't know, we'll see. They were 0.3s off us in Q2 so I'd say they are probably running lighter. We will know in a couple of hours I suppose, but I wouldn't say the Renault is the biggest worry where we finish at the end of the race. It is more the Red Bulls.

Q: But even you coming away from here with a podium, given your championship position, would be a good thing.

JB: Yeah it would be a great thing but we are here to win the race so we will fight for that and if we finish third or fourth we will take away the points and come back fighting in Bahrain.

Q: Having got accustomed to starting from the front is it strange to be back in the pack?

JB: Well it's not really back in the pack though is it, it's still quite near the front. People have won races from a lot further back in normal circumstances so, with the way things are and the different fuel loads in Formula 1, and obviously the difference in the soft and hard tyres, there is a lot to play for, and I think it makes for a very exciting race. Not an easy one for us though.

Q: Does it make you more nervous when you are a bit further back that you will get caught up in an incident?

JB: Well Turn 1 is always more of a nightmare when you are further back, but this place is not as much of a problem as some circuits, because you are not heavily braking into Turn1 so it's a bit more flowing. It should be fine.

Q: Is it good that you are not racing KERS cars?

JB: That is a bonus for sure because you have got no chance of overtaking a KERS car. I don't know what the wind is going to do in the race, but there is a lot of headwind on the backstraight so overtaking should be made easier because you can tow up behind a car and that makes a big difference here so that could make overtaking good. And that is what we are looking for.

Q: With Renault using an interim diffuser, do you feel the advantage you had is being eroded?

JB: Well Red Bull haven't got a different diffuser and they are quicker than us so you wouldn't put it down to the diffuser. They are the team that had 0.3s on us in Q2, it wasn't another team so. There performance is very good and we need to see if they have the same performance in the race on Sunday.

Sabtu, 18 April 2009

Button expected better than fifth

By Simon Strang
Saturday, April 18th 2009


Jenson Button admitted that he was disappointed to have qualified fifth for the Chinese Grand Prix and that he had not expected to be outpaced by the Red Bulls and Fernando Alonso's Renault in Shanghai on Saturday.

The world championship leader, who has started from pole position in both races so far this season, said that while he knew Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber would present stiff opposition, he had hoped to be faster than them.

"It's not quite as good as what I expected," Button told the BBC. "The Red Bulls were quick yesterday, we were watching them in the high speed corners and they were very, very fast.

"So if you at Q2 it looked like they had two or three tenths on us, so yeah they are competitive. And it's not us driving around slowly or having a lot of fuel in the car because it's Q2 and you run with low fuel so they are going to be tough to beat.

"We knew they were competitive but we didn't think quite that competitive."

"It's not a shock because they were quick in the first race as well and in the second I don't think they really got it together," he added.

"In Melbourne they were quick, quite competitive, not as much as they are here. But every circuit is different and it seems their car is working on this type of circuit."

Button conceded that he was slightly frustrated to be starting Sunday's race from the third row, one position behind his team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

"It is obviously competition for us and it's a pity that we are starting behind them because it is very tough here to overtake," he said. "So we will see what happens."

Selasa, 14 April 2009

Button says staying ahead will be tough

By Pablo Elizalde
Tuesday, April 14th 2009


Jenson Button is expecting rival teams to put up a tough fight from now on following his two consecutive victories in Australia and Malaysia.

The Brawn GP driver has started from pole position and won both races as his team has enjoyed a dream start to the season following its problems during the winter.

But despite his dominance in the early part of the year, Button is aware that the opposition will catch up and make his life more difficult.

"After the excitement of the first two races, it has been great to have the chance to relax and reflect for a few days since the dramatic race in Malaysia," said Button ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

"I am understandably delighted with how our season has begun. However we are only two races in and everyone at the team is aware that our competitors will not stand still. We fully expect a tough fight from here if we want to continue our early successes.

"Looking ahead to next weekend, the Shanghai International Circuit is an enjoyable one for the drivers and a good technical challenge to find the right set-up.

"I particularly enjoy the high-speed sections and the overtaking opportunities going into the tight right-hander at turn five and at the end of the back straight."

Ross Brawn says the team has worked on solving some issues it had in the first two races and he is hopeful they will be in good shape in Shanghai.

"Whilst there have been no developments to the car, we have taken the opportunity to address a few small issues which arose over the first two races and we are in good shape for the next race in China," said Brawn. "We are expecting temperatures will be cooler and less humid this year with the race taking place six months earlier.

"Therefore as was the case in Malaysia, we will need to be prepared for the unexpected as rain has played its part in recent races at the Shanghai International Circuit."

Aku di Rimba Bahasa yang Tak Baku

Sebenarnya, aku ingin menulis tentang Jenson dan tunggangan putih dengan kilasan kuning highlight-nya (bukan hijau muda seperti tulisanku sebelumnya) yang sangat memukau setelah tampil dominan di dua seri balap awal bahkan terlihat luar biasa di tengah hujan deras yang mengguyur Sepang dua minggu lalu. Tapi akhirnya aku memilih menulis sesuatu yang mengganjal pikiranku belakangan ini.

Kebiasaanku menggunakan aku sebagai kata ganti orang pertama dalam tulisanku pernah mendapat kritik dari sahabatku (yang memang jago dalam pelajaran bahasa Indonesia saat kami masih sama-sama duduk di bangku sekolah menengah dulu). Tak kupungkiri, aku memang kerap menggunakan aku sebagai kata ganti orang pertama dalam setiap tulisanku. Menurut sahabatku penggunaan aku dalam tulisanku dengan tata bahasa yang amburadul (alias tak baku) membuatnya tak enak dibaca dan ia menganjurkanku untuk mengganti kata aku dengan kata ganti orang pertama yang lain yaitu saya.

Hmm, analisa yang masuk akal dalam teori tata bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar tapi masalahnya aku lebih suka menggunakan kata aku daripada saya. Aku berkeras. Tapi aku memiliki alasannya.

Bagiku, saya terkesan terlalu formal dan terdapat jarak. Bukankah saya lebih umum digunakan saat berbicara dengan orang asing, orang yang lebih tua atau bahkan pada atasan kita di kantor. Rasanya aneh bila kita menggunakan aku saat berbicara dengan atasan dan kita pastinya lebih memilih menggunakan kata saya saat berbicara dengan pimpinan kita, bukan? Karenanya menurutku, kata saya terkesan lebih berjarak dan formal.

Memang, tata bahasa yang kugunakan tak sebaku dalam bahasa Indonesia karena aku ingin tulisanku lebih fleksibel dan dinamis tak monoton membosankan seperti dalam bahasa Indonesia (yang kusuka dari pelajaran bahasa Indonesia hanya puisi bahkan meski aku suka menulis pun pelajaran mengarang sangat membosankan bagiku karena tema yang ditetapkan dalam buku pelajaran bahasa Indonesia sangat membosankan, bayangkan saja tema yang biasa disodorkan mengenai liburan ke rumah kakek dan nenek di desa padahal sumpah mati ke kebun teh saja aku tak pernah apalagi melihat sawah dengan bentangan padi menguning di tengah hutan beton Jakarta ini?)

Sahabatku pun mengemukakan kembali alasan keberatannya mengenai penggunaan kata aku dalam tulisanku. Katanya, aku itu seperti sebuah fiksi padahal tulisanku bukan fiksi (waktu itu aku menulis tentang Jenson Button dan memang sahabatku yang sudah seperti editor pribadiku telah membantuku mengganti semua kata aku dalam tulisanku itu dengan saya).

Pendapat sahabatku itu membuatku berpikir. Bukankah hidup itu sendiri sebenarnya sebuah karya fiksi? Hidup bagiku seperti sebuah perjalanan hidup yang daripadanya si pelaku maupun orang lain dapat bercermin layaknya sebuah buku fiksi maupun film drama yang mengetengahkan perjalanan hidup seorang manusia. Terkadang aku merasa hidup ini tak benar-benar nyata seolah aku tengah bermimpi tapi ternyata aku berjejak pada realita.

Kadang hidup terasa melelahkan meski sesekali saat euforia menyelimuti aku merasa bersemangat (biasanya ketika pembalap andalanku Michael Schumacher memenangi balapan aku merasa sangat bersemangat menjalani hidup bahkan rekan kerjaku yang kadang menyebalkan terasa menyenangkan dan setelah Schumi pensiun, Jenson Button yang bintangnya sempat meredup dan membuatku frustasi akhirnya memancarkan sinarnya menggantikan kehilanganku akan Schumi, sahabatku bilang aku drama queen tapi aku merasa sepertinya aku memang terlalu sentimentil melankolis).

Namun tidakkah semua kesedihan dan kesenangan dalam hidup kadang terasa ilusif layaknya sebuah karya fiksi? Dan bukankah pula sejak dulu para penyair, pujangga maupun seniman mencoba menggali misteri hidup sebagai maha karyanya?

Sebuah tulisan bagiku layaknya cermin bagi penulisnya maupun pembacanya. Si penulis mencoba menggali apa yang ada dalam dirinya, benaknya, bahkan mungkin menuangkan mimpinya dalam tulisannya. Tapi sebenarnya si penulis tengah berkaca pada hidupnya, pada jejak-jejak langkahnya. Dan pembacanya diharapkan dapat memahami apa yang ingin disampaikan si penulis itu mungkin dengan perspektif yang berbeda dengan yang ingin disampaikan penulisnya tapi intinya lewat tulisan, terjalin sebuah ikatan antara penulis dan pembacanya. Sebuah benang tipis yang tak nyata. Karenanya si penulis ingin menggunakan bahasa yang diharapkan dapat mendekatkannya dengan pembacanya.

Ah, aku memang tak memiliki kapasitas dalam membicarakan mengenai tata bahasa yang baik dan benar (pada setiap tulisanku saja aku membutuhkan sahabatku yang telah dengan setulusnya menjadi editor tak resmiku dan kerap menjadi pembaca pertama sekaligus komentatorku yang memacuku untuk menampilkan yang terbaik yang bisa kuberikan sebagai kenang-kenangan atas hidup yang singkat ini…)

Intinya, aku hanya ingin menulis secara jujur. Aku ingin menulis apa yang kurasakan. Aku hanya ingin menampilkan sebuah pribadi yang tak berjarak.
Memang penggunaan tata bahasa yang buruk mungkin bisa membuat cermin itu buram sehingga tak dapat melihat jelas apa yang terdapat di balik cermin itu dan apa yang tersiratpun terasa kabur.

Namun sesungguhnya aku lebih suka menggunakan kata aku karena aku lebih mendekati sebuah pribadi. Tanpa jarak. Dan aku adalah sebuah fiksi yang masih terus menjalani kisahnya ….

Jumat, 10 April 2009

What The Papers Say About Soggy Sepang


Fleet Street is once again this morning singing the praises of the 'unstoppable' Jenson Button and waxing rather lyrically about the Sepang sea-side resort...

'Forks of lightning lit up the dusk sky, flash bulbs sparkled like beacons in the stand, thunder rumbled, fans on the grass bank sought refuge under the palms and, finally, after drizzle, an ocean fell out of the sky.

'Through it all emerged Jenson Button, showing himself to be a man for all seasons. Two races into the campaign, two wins. One in bone-dry Australia, the other in soaking-wet Malaysia yesterday. He is currently unstoppable.' - Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Mail

'One of Formula One's most contentious starts to a season continued in memorable if soggy style yesterday as the scandal about Lewis Hamilton being told to lie to the stewards in Australia was briefly set aside for a Malaysian Grand Prix that turned into a washout.

'Not that it mattered to Britain's man of the moment, Jenson Button, who claimed his second consecutive win in the super-quick Brawn GP car, though he did so sitting on the grid along with everyone else as a tropical downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, turned the circuit at Sepang into a swimming pool.' - Edward Gorman, The Times

'Jenson Button always said that tyre management would be a key part of the Malaysian Grand Prix and he was right - but even he could not have foreseen the mayhem which forced yesterday's race to be stopped after 32 of the scheduled 56 laps. As the Briton extended his world championship lead with another victory for Brawn Mercedes, it was the management of tyre changes that proved crucial as torrential rain made the Sepang circuit slippier than a skating rink.' - David Tremayne, The Independent

'It was a surreal end to a surreal week. With thunder rumbling in the background, darkness descending all around him and the last remnants of a biblical downpour threatening to carry his Brawn GP car down Sepang's home straight, the pitlane cameras directed their gaze beneath a large umbrella and Jenson Button's bewildered face hoved into view.

'"Is that it?" he asked. Yes, that was it. The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix had been abandoned with just over half the race completed, handing Button the third grand prix victory of his career and a second in succession.' - Tom Cary, The Telegraph

'Jenson Button is celebrating his - and the Brawn GP team's - second victory in as many rounds after winning the Malaysian grand prix at Sepang today, although it came in farcical conditions after a tropical thunderstorm flooded the circuit and brought the race to an early end.

'It raised questions about Bernie Ecclestone's decision to opt for a 5pm local start to suit television schedules in Europe, especially as weather forecasters had predicted that heavy rain would start falling about 30 minutes into the event. The move by the sport's commercial rights holder, who left immediately after the race and could not be contacted, seemed to ignore the fact that teatime thunderstorms in Kuala Lumpur are par for the course and the rapid onset of darkness meant that it became impossible to restart the race.

'Button was awarded half the regular championship victory points as the race had been stopped with 25 of its original 56 laps to run, meaning it had not reached the two-thirds cut-off point beyond which full points are given. His victory made Brawn GP the first new team to win their opening two races since Alfa Romeo won the first ever two grands prix in 1950.' - Alan Henry, The Guardian

'Sepang? It was more like the seaside as Kimi Raikkonen wandered around in shorts eating an ice lolly and holding a drink, while his rivals sat in racing cars which looked more like leaky rowing boats .

'Groups of spectators splashed around in the shallows while others dived in the mud as if it was Glastonbury.

'All of this to fill the time when we should have been watching cars race at 200mph, but as soon as they became powerboats - and plumes became wakes - the Malaysian Grand Prix gamble was over.' - Bob McKenzie, Daily Express

Brawn: Diffuser row not affecting FOTA


By Jonathan Noble
Ross Brawn is confident that the unity of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is holding together, despite the pressures being put on it by the wrangling over diffuser designs.

FOTA had always faced a challenge to keep all its members aligned amid the inevitable rows that erupt in the heat of competition.

And Brawn, who heads up FOTA's technical working group, believes the 'test case' of the diffuser controversy is showing that the body can come through such disputes without getting fractured.

"What I am pleased about is that FOTA is still operating well within its mandates, objectives and so on," said Brawn, whose team's diffuser design has been protested by Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, and Renault.

"This has not, as far as I can tell, damaged FOTA. We have to learn to work in that way, because we when we get on the track there will be instances where we will get very upset with each other.

"We have to put that to one side and say within FOTA we are trying to do something which is good for the sport.

"I draw this analogy with rugby, which is that you go out on the field and try and kill each other, then you come back and you have a beer. You have got to be able to separate those two things. And FOTA has got to be able to do that.

"We have got to be able to go out on the race track, objecting to someone's technical specs of the car is all part of it. It is part of the event, and we have got to able to put that to one side and say, 'okay we are having our situation there but let's work on trying to help Formula 1 improve and become better'.

"If we do that, and we seem to be able to do that, then that means FOTA can work. If the first time we fall out on the track it blows FOTA apart then that's no good and I don't think that will happen."

The FIA's International Court of Appeal hearing into the legality of the diffuser designs is to take place in Paris next Tuesday.

Selasa, 07 April 2009

Brawn: Button Layak ke Ferrari

Selasa, 7 April 2009 - 19:04 wib
Muchamad Syuhada - Okezone


SEPANG - Team Principal Brawn GP Ross Brawn terus menghujamkan pujian terhadap pembalap andalannya Jenson Button. Bahkan dia mengaku menyesal tidak merekrut pria asal Inggris itu sejak masih menangani Ferrari.

"Saya membuat kesalahan besar dengan tidak merekrutnya untuk Ferrari. Sulit rasanya membaca talenta seseorang, terlebih Button adalah sosok yang rendah hati," ujar Brawn seperti disitat Autosports, Selasa (7/4/2009).

Menurut Brawn, Button punya gaya yang khas. Dia sangat pandai mengatur ritme dan begitu tenang dalam mengontrol laju mobil di lintasan balap.

"Saya akui dia punya gaya yang khas. Seperti kepribadiannya, Button mampu mengendarai mobil dengan sangat tenang," pungkas pria yang mengambil alih kepemilikan Brawn GP dari tangan Honda itu.

Lepas dari talentanya, Button diketahui sempat melalui masa kelam. Namun, Brawn tidak mempermasalahkannya sama sekali, dia tahu benar kalau saat ini Button sudah jauh lebih baik.

"Tidak, Button bukan orang seperti itu lagi, dia sudah jauh lebih baik. Sekarang dia sangat rajin dan mampu bekerja sama dengan baik bersama para teknisi kami," tandasnya lagi.

Betting: View From The Trading Room

Tuesday 7th April 2009

Well, the Brawn Domination looks set to continue after another strong showing from Jenson Button in Sepang, and up at Skybet we have reacted by cutting the winner of the opening two grand prix into just 11/8 to win the Drivers' Championship.
Looking past Button, there's just look to be so many pitfalls in all the options. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello is 6/1, but Button looks to have the jump on the Brazilian, and that only needs to continue for a few more races for the team to put their weight behind Jenson - Ross Brawn was never averse to running a main man plus wing man at Ferrari, so he won't be scared to manage his drivers in such a way again.
Lewis Hamilton comes next in the betting at 8/1, but you would have to be fairly brave to back him at this stage - the car looks like an absolute dog, and for all the might and muscle of McLaren, they are going to have a mountain to climb if they are to give Lewis a winning car.
Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are available at the same price, but again, despite an impressive second practice in Malaysia, they looked way off the pace throughout Sunday regardless of any tactical mistakes they may have added into the mix.
Sebastian Vettel could be the best of the rest, and we have actively looked to keep the prodigious German on-side at Skybet. Given the right breaks, his season could be looking much better than it currently is, but he was probably the second quickest man on the track in Australia and put in an impressive qualifying performance in Malaysia. The Red Bull looks pretty competitive - particularly in his hands - and although I can't see the FIA undermining the Stewards decision from the opening pair of races, he wouldn't be far off favourite for the title if the diffuser row did go against Brawn GP.
In the Constructors' title, we shortened Toyota dramatically after their 3rd and 4th this week, and their consistency has seen them soar dramatically up the table. It was the second consecutive race they have secured those final positions, and puts them 12.5 points clear of the chasing back, but still struggling to match Brawn GP.
We've installed Brawn at 11/10 for the title, with Ferrari available at 9/4 and Toyota the big market movers into 11/2 from 12/1 after their strong show. McLaren look down and out even at this stage, and we eased them to 14/1. For all Hamilton's talent, if they don't have a competitive car until four or five races into the season, and Heikki Kovalainen continues to amaze with his ability to retire before completing the first lap, its hard to see the team troubling the bigger guns.

Dave Pilgrim

Brawn: Ferrari, McLaren will catch up

By Jonathan Noble
Tuesday, April 7th 2009, 10:34 GMT

source :

Ross Brawn thinks it inevitable that Ferrari and McLaren will recover from their disastrous start to the campaign and soon start putting his dominant team under pressure.
Jenson Button has taken victory in the first two races of the year for Brawn GP, with last year's title front-runners McLaren and Ferrari having scored just one point between them.
And although people are hailing a 'new world order' in F1 this year, Brawn is convinced that the current formbook is not indicative of how things will pan out for the rest of the season.
Instead, he believes that what is happening at the moment is simply the result of those teams who switched development onto their 2009 cars early having a head start on those that kept pushing with their 2008 machines until the end of the year.
"It is a reflection on what has gone on in the last year or two," said Brawn. "With such a big change in regulations, McLaren and Ferrari had a championship to fight and I can understand that it was very difficult for them to say, 'look we'll stop pushing this year and put our effort into next year'.
"For us it wasn't even a clever decision, it was a very easy one - we didn't have a very good car so why waste time on it? For them it was a much more difficult decision, but they are both very strong and fantastic engineering companies, so they will sort it out.
"I think they are just paying the price for winning the championship last year. Because normally you develop a car and, if you are fighting for the championship, that same car goes forward into the next championship, so you don't lose things.
"Everything they did last year for the championship was in the bin after the last race, so it was gone. We now have slick tyres and new aerodynamics, so everything they did at the end of last year they could virtually throw away."
Although Brawn is delighted by what his team has delivered in the first phase of the season, he admits the start to the year has been ‘difficult' off track – with the outfit needing to make 270 redundancies.
"It's a very unfortunate process," he explained. "Obviously it has been going on while I have been away so I have not been involved first hand in the process, but it is just very difficult.
"Especially with everyone at the factory having produced such a good car, to say to people 'We can't give you a future anymore' is very difficult. But we had over 700 people and that's not viable for us to continue at that level.
"We have treated everyone with respect and we have done everything that we can to give them a good chance of a future. We have all of our employees on the same terms and conditions as they would have got if Honda had closed the company.
"They were fairly reasonable, and certainly above statutory, but they deserved it. They have done a great job, it is just a shame that we can't justify keeping so many people.
"So it is a very difficult period. Just now try to look forward and put that side behind us and try and build the company for the future. I think in reality if we had kept 700 people we wouldn't have been around very long, it just was impossible."

Senin, 06 April 2009

Malaysian GP - Sunday - Press Conference


5 APRIL 2009
1. Jenson BUTTON (Brawn GP), 55m30.622s


Q: Jenson, it is never easy. Very difficult at the start and what calls you had to make with changing weather conditions as your pit stop approached.

Jenson BUTTON: What a crazy race. It really was. My start was pretty bad. I had a lot of oversteer in the car. I don't think I got heat into the rear tyres and went back to fourth, got up to third and eventually got back to the front and I was pretty happy with that. Our pace was good and then the rain started but choosing the tyres was very difficult. Normally here when it rains it pours but it didn't to start with. We went for the full wet tyre and it just destroyed itself and we saw Timo flying up behind us on the inter, so we put the inter on. Then just as he came by I saw his tyres were bald and it was raining out the back and he was struggling quite a bit on it and had to pit. I got one lap in on the inter with reasonable pace and I was able to get in and put the wet tyre on and come out in front. A very interesting race and I still haven't seen the chequered flag without a safety car in front.

Q: Jenson, in those closing laps just before the safety car came out you were racing with Timo in dreadful conditions.

Button: It was really bad conditions and you could not actually see the circuit. I mean it was that bad. We were behind the safety car and my team, who did a fantastic job, said all you have got to do is drive around and that was difficult enough. A few moments I was almost off the circuit. We are going around at running pace, that slow. The safety car was pulling away from us. All I had to do was drive around and stay on the circuit. But how slow it looks. It is embarrassing but that was as quick as we needed to go and if I'd gone any quicker I'd think I would have ended up in the gravel.

Q: Jenson, you had a bit of a moment on the outside of turn one?

Button: I mean all weekend the circuit has been quite similar but there was such little grip I was really, really surprised and I went a little bit deep into turn one and got a big snap of oversteer and that carried throughout the first lap. I was really, really struggling with the rear end as (Fernando) Alonso was in front of me. I have never seen a car so sideways before. But I eventually got past Alonso coming into the second to last corner and then I had to chase down Jarno (Trulli) and Nico (Rosberg). An exciting race. I would rather have a boring race but we had an exciting one today and I came out on top, so I am happy.

One final thing. Can I just say a massive thank you to my engineer who was on the podium with me today. We have been through a lot of tough times but he has been wicked and today as we saw we came out on top and a lot of it was down to him, so 'thank you very much.'


Q: Jenson, this could become a habit.

Button: Finishing behind the safety car you mean. Wow, what a race. We had everything in that race. It was very enjoyable. It was not the easiest start for me and I had a big snap of oversteer, pretty much at every corner on the first lap from the grid. I really struggled with the rear end. But then I closed up to Jarno and Nico and knew I was going longer and when they pitted I could put in a couple of quick laps. It got me in front and it was looking like it was going to be fine until I looked up and saw the clouds come over and it started raining. Unusual for Sepang it just started spitting and we went for the full wets thinking it is going to chuck it down. But it didn't to start with. A few other people made the correct choice but we had a 16-18 second lead at that point. So I carried on and it started chewing itself up, so I pitted for inters as this guy (Timo) was flying. I came out just behind him but my inter was obviously new and his was very old and I was able to get past him on the wetter part of the circuit just before he pitted. I got one good lap on the inter but then it started chucking it down, so I came in for the full went but then it was the safety car. It was a tough race and it was tough keeping it on the circuit. We were driving around it as if it was walking pace and you are still scared that you are going to chuck it off because you could not see the circuit to start with. It was not like it was rivers, it was a lake.

Q: You were worried about going off the grid anyway because you were on the dirty side of the grid?

Button: Yeah, it was true. Timo also suffered from the grid. I didn't get a bad start. The start was reasonable but the right hand side just shot past and the KERS cars came up, so I lost time there and turn one was messy really. I got a massive snap of oversteer at the exit and I couldn't get back from there.

Q: And you have never driven on the wets before?

Button: No, and the balance was definitely not right on the full wet. The circuit was reasonably dry, so it was difficult to get a balance. But I had massive oversteer on the first couple of laps and then the front started graining. There is a lot of work we need to do to sort our pace and balance out on the wet tyres but as I said it is just nice to get to the end of the race and we ended up on the top because, I think, of a good strategy and also looking at what other people were doing on the different types of tyres and we ended up on top. Congratulations to all the guys who work on the car but also the engineers and the strategy guys who got us here really.

Q: Sorry about the second place...

Glock: Yeah, it was a bit tricky. My engineer told me 'you're P2, P2'. Then I came up here and now I'm P3.

Button: You're behind me.


Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Do you think the decision to stop the race came a little bit too late? Do you think that a five o' clock start is still a good idea?

Button: We thought it was a fantastic idea before. The reason for it in Melbourne was because of the light and the poor light and the reflection you get on the visor, I found it very difficult to see the corner exits. But here, it obviously gets dark very quickly and as we all know, there's normally rain storms here at five or six o' clock in the evening and that proved to be correct. The race was way too wet and I think that the call was correct. It rained so hard so quickly that I think they did the right thing. It was very difficult for them to judge how wet the circuit is and in Fuji, for me, two years ago it was too wet but this year I think they made the right call to stop it at the right time.

Button: When the safety car is pulling away at 20 seconds a lap, you know that it's too wet for an F1 car.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Is it more than you expected?

Button: For me I think it's more amazing that we've done it in these conditions, because Australia wasn't easy with the safety cars and here with the changing weather conditions it made it a lot more difficult. These two here were not the guys that were fighting me at the start of the race, so the great thing is that we could see what was going on behind us and we could react to it and react to it quickly and that's why we're sat here at the moment. I'm very happy and it would be nice going to Shanghai leading by a few points, I think five points, and hopefully we can have a straightforward race and we can see where we stand.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) If it was up to you, would you want to start again?

Button: No, I would obviously love to have the ten points, but this is the best we could have done, I think, and realistically it was the right thing to do. I'm sure some people will say 'we didn't see the whole race and it's disappointing' but you have to think about the safety sometimes. I am here to race, as we all are but there are limits to what we can do with the cars that we have.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera) Jenson, if I'm not wrong, I think it's the first time you drove the Brawn in wet conditions. How was the behaviour of the car and can we say that the Brawn is suitable for every situation?

Button: Yeah, I'm sure it is but the conditions that we were running in today was a very unusual situation to have: full wets, or the extremes as they were, in slightly greasy conditions. We had to go for that option because we thought it was going to rain. There was no use taking a gamble being in the lead, so we took that tyre and obviously it felt pretty terrible. At high speed, you were slowing the car down to third gear because you just couldn't carry any speed because the rear was always trying to break away. So the balance felt pretty awful but I think that's more down to the conditions we ran the tyres in, it was not the correct conditions. When we put the intermediates on for one lap, the car felt reasonably good. I had a good balance, because that was the correct conditions for that tyre until it started raining hard and then obviously no tyre was useable.

Malaysian GP - Button's Quote


Malaysian GP - Saturday - Team Quotes
Jenson Button (1st, 1:35.181): "Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It's not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it's a first for me in my Formula One career. It's a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It's a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities."

Malaysian GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Jenson Button (1st): "What a crazy race! It was really exciting out there and I'm delighted that we came out on top today. I didn't have the best of starts and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit stops. I was happy with the car and our pace was good but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tyres was difficult but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly. I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today and the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season and I am so proud that has continued here."

Jumat, 03 April 2009

Seeking a better balance on the BGP 001

Malaysian GP – Brawn Mercedes - practice
source :

Just five days after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Brawn GP's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took to the track at the Sepang International Circuit in the first of the practice sessions ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

In hot and humid conditions, with air temperatures peaking at 33°C and 71% humidity, the duo completed 110 laps of the 5.54km circuit, ending the afternoon practice session with Barrichello in sixth position and Button in seventh place on the timesheets.

The pair worked through the team's Friday programme of set-up work and tyre evaluations with the soft and hard compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres which will be used this weekend.

Rubens Barrichello
"We achieved a good day's work today on a challenging track where it is always difficult to find the right balance with the car and tyres. Our evaluations with the prime and the option tyre were particularly useful and although we still have some work to do on the balance, overall it was a positive day."

Jenson Button
"We completed some useful running today to work on improving the balance of the car.
My biggest problem was that we are locking the tyres and brakes very easily so we need to have a good look at this. We're not quite there yet but we are going in the right direction and I'm confident we will achieve the optimum set-up ready for qualifying tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal
"The practice sessions in Malaysia today have been our first experience of higher track and air temperatures so we made the most of the available running to learn how the car, tyres and engine work in these conditions. We struggled a little with the balance of the car and at the moment it is not performing quite as well as in Australia last weekend. However I am confident that we are on the right path and with some hard work overnight, we should be in a good position for the rest of the weekend."

E.A. © CAPSIS International

Brawn in no hurry to run KERS

Team would need to buy in technology


Brawn GP will have to pay more to McLaren Mercedes if it wants to use the team's Kinetic Energy Recovery System later in the season.

The former Honda team is currently not running the new energy-reuse technology, having focused over the winter on surviving and accommodating the 2009 car for a Mercedes engine.

A side-effect of the dash to accommodate a different engine is that the BGP 001 package is currently running heavier than Brawn would like.

"That makes it quite difficult to install KERS," team boss Ross Brawn told reporters at Sepang on Friday.

The Briton admitted that his current commercial arrangement with McLaren and Mercedes is for engines only.

"We have had some tentative discussions about KERS but it is a little bit early for us to engage properly on that," Brawn added.

Source: GMM
© CAPSIS International

Hamilton Says Dave Ryan Told Him to Lie

Damage limitation for Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes
Source :

World champion Lewis Hamilton on Friday apologised for lying to FIA stewards in Australia, but said he was instructed to by suspended team veteran Dave Ryan.

Ryan, who joined McLaren as a mechanic in the 1970s and was sent back to the hotel by team boss Martin Whitmarsh on Friday, ‘misled’ Hamilton, the 24-year-old British driver said.

"I was instructed and misled by my team manager to withhold information, and that is what I did," said Hamilton, referring to Sporting Director Ryan.

Hamilton said he wanted to tell the truth but has always followed the instructions of his bosses.

"I would like to say a big sorry to all my fans, who I showed who I am for the past three years, and it is who I am. I am not a liar. I am not a dishonest person.”

"Every time I have been informed to do something I have done it. This time I realise it was a huge mistake. I am here to apologise to everyone and I assure you it won't happen again," he told masses of international media in a specially-convened media centre press conference.

Hamilton said he felt ‘awkward’ and ‘uncomfortable’ about lying, and now the repercussions are the ‘worst thing’ he has experienced in his racing career.

"I've never felt so bad. Try and put yourself in my position and understand that, like I said, I am not a liar. And so for people to say I am dishonest and for the world to think that, what can I say?" he added.

He said he apologised ‘for the situation’ to Jarno Trulli before Thursday's stewards hearing, denying the saga was a cheap trick to gain a position through seeing the Italian unfairly penalised.

"That was not my aim. That is not something I do. I earn my points and my positions through hard work, and that is not the way I think," Hamilton insisted.

Source: GMM
© CAPSIS International

Rabu, 01 April 2009

Kampanye Pemilu = Perebutan Takhta Formula One ?

Kampanye pemilu memang bisa jadi menyebalkan. Sticker banyak ditempel di sana-sini yang bikin dinding-dinding putih di jalan makin kusam berbaur bersama coretan-coretan grafiti anak-anak SMP, SMU atau STM. Belum lagi jalanan macet, ditambah beberapa waktu lalu ketika banyak karyawan yang terlambat kerja hanya karena bis yang biasa dinaiki sedang diborong oleh salah satu partai untuk berkampanye. (iih, katanya mementingkan kepentingan rakyat, belum apa-apa dah nyengsarain rakyat ...???)

Apalagi setelah kampanye yang tersisa sampah bekas makanan (di televisi terlihat jelas kotak-kotak makanan berlabel Hoka-Hoka Bento) dan botol-botol air mineral berserakan setelah kampanye akbar partai berakhir.

Uuuh, intinya kampanye bikin sebel deh. Padahal katanya pesta rakyat tapi kok bikin rakyat makin merasa nelangsa dibanding gembira ya ...?

Ah, pokoknya dibanding nonton kampanye lebih seru nonton formula one deh. Menjerit-jerit di depan tivi sambil ngebego-begoin pembalap. Ga bikin jalanan macet, ga ngerusak keindahan kota dengan tempelan stiker, baliho yang kadang bukan memperindah malah bikin sebel, ataupun kibaran bendera-bendera partai yang banyak bertebaran di sepanjang jalan. Terus pembalap-pembalap formula one juga ga cuma bisa menebar janji alias omdo alias omong doang. Emang sih, ada juga pembalap yang bermulut gede tapi ga bakal pernah didengar karena yang dibutuhkan di formula one adalah bakat, kerja keras dan keberuntungan. Meski begitu, meraka gak sampai mengobral janji untuk memikat para penggemar.

Tapi ... kampanye bisa juga seseru formula one juga ternyata. Terlebih bila melihat persaingan partainya Pak Presiden dengan partai mantan Bu Presiden. Asyik juga deh. Aneh juga sih dengar komentar beberapa pihak yang meminta agar dalam berkampanye tak saling menjatuhkan. Ih, namanya juga kampanye kok mesti saling memuji? (kayak lagu Saling Memuji-nya Shanti sama siapa gitu, lupa)

Apalagi mendengar komentar yang bilang bahwa sebagai negara yang santun kita mesti memperhatikan etika norma-norma kesusilaan dalam berkampanye jadi seyogyanya tak saling menjelekkan satu sama lain (hi... hi... hi... negara yang santun tapi kok terkenal sebagai negara terkorup???)

Udah deh, bukan politiknya yang bikin aku seneng sama kampanye kali ini. Tapi melihat persaingan partai Pak Presiden yang didominasi warna biru alias blue dan partainya mantan Bu Presiden yang merah menyala jadi inget sama serunya persaingan perebutan juara dunia formula one 2006 antara Michael Schumacher dengan tim merah Ferrarinya dan Fernando Alonso di Renault yang waktu itu masih didominasi warna biru.

Waktu itu juga kan, Michael Schumacher berniat merebut kembali takhtanya yang hilang direbut Fernando Alonso pada tahun 2005. Saking sengitnya mereka sama-sama kena penalti di Grand Prix Hungaria 2006. Kejadiannya saat sesi latihan Jum’at Alonso yang lebih dulu mendapatkan penalti karena pertikaiannya dengan Robert Doornbos mengabaikan bendera kuning yang dikibarkan. Schumacher mendapatkan penaltinya kemudian karena melewati tiga mobil, Alonso, Kubica, dan David Coulthard saat sesi latihan Sabtu pagi ketika bendera merah dikibarkan setelah Honda-nya Jenson Button mengalami gagal mesin. Karena mengabaikan bendera merah akhirnya Michael mendapatkan penalti dua detik pada hasil qualifikasi.

Musim 2006 adalah musim balap formula one yang takkan pernah kulupakan. Meski Michael tak berhasil merebut gelar dunianya yang kedelapan tapi aksi yang ditampilkan Michael sepanjang musim layak menjadikannya sebagai pembalap terbaik sepanjang masa meski sedikit tercoreng oleh insiden qualifikasi Monaco (yang menurutku merupakan taktik Michael yang brilian dan bukti bahwa Michael bukan hanya membalap dengan bakatnya saja tapi juga otak, sayangnya taktiknya gagal total dan ia bukan saja kena penalti sehingga ia akhirnya harus balapan dari pit tapi juga kembali ia dicerca habis-habisan). Tapi bagaimanapun aksi Michael di Brazil mampu menghapus semua dosa dan celanya itu. Di Brazil Michael benar-benar menunjukkan kapasitasnya sebagai seorang maestro dan aksinya di Brazil akan selalu dikenang para pendukungnya maupun orang-orang yang selalu mencerca dan mengkritiknya.

Namun pemilu tetap saja berbeda dengan formula one. Siapapun pembalap yang berhasil menjadi juara dunia tak berpengaruh pada hajat hidup orang banyak sementara politisi yang memenangi pemilu berpengaruh pada kehidupan rakyat banyak. Seandainya waktu itu Hitler tak berhasil memenangi pemilu Jerman (padahal dia orang Austria tapi entah mengapa ia bias menjadi kanselir Jerman dan mengapa pula orang Jerman memilihnya?) maka kisah Nazi dan Manifesto Hitam-nya selamanya tersimpan dalam lacinya atau mungkin sudah menjadi bungkus kacang dan perang dunia dua takkan pernah terjadi.

Lalu akankah Indonesia merdeka pada 17 Agustus 1945 karena bukankah para pemuda waktu itu memanfaatkan kekosongan politik di Indonesia yang diakibatkan perang dunia kedua itu untuk memproklamirkan kemerdekaannya? Entahlah …. Sejarah yang telah berbicara. Hitler memenangi pemilu, perang dunia kedua meletus berbarengan dengan keberanian Jepang mengebom Pearl Harbor. Indonesia dengan cerdik melihat celah dan langsung meraih kemerdekaannya. Yang jelas, kita beruntung karena telah merdeka !!! Semuanya memang sudah jadi sejarah, namun sejarah bukan hanya sekedar kejadian masa lalu pada tahun yang telah lampau. Sejarah sejatinya merupakan cermin bagi kita di masa kini dalam melangkah demi sebuah masa depan yang lebih baik.

Musim 2006 sudah berlalu. Persaingan Schumi dan Alonso pun sudah usai seiring dengan pensiunnya Michael. Renault pun kini sudah berganti warna dari Biru menjadi kuning putih meski Ferrari tetap setia dengan merah menyalanya. Tapi formula one memang berbeda dengan kampanye meski kampanye penuh warna seperti lintasan trek formula one yang dipenuhi jet-jet darat aneka warna.

Siapapun yang memenangi pemilu nanti semoga saja merupakan orang-orang yang pantas karena mereka bukan seperti juara dunia formula one yang bertarung demi dirinya sendiri dan untuk membayar pengorbanan seluruh kru timnya dan seorang pembalap berhasil menjadi juara dunia bukan karena mendapat suara terbanyak!

Dan semoga formula one dapat terus kita nikmati di bumi nusantara ini. Serem sekali bila membayangkan negara kita seperti negara fasis Korea Utara yang stasiun televisinya senantiasa hanya menayangkan acara-acara propaganda yang mendengungkan keagungan pemimpin besar mereka Kim Yong Sun yang telah wafat dan kini digantikan putranya Kim Yong-il. Jangankan menonton formula one sepertinya sinetron pun akan sulit ditonton di negara ini dan kalaupun ada film pastinya kisah dalam film tersebut pun penuh puja puji berlebihan pada pemimpin besar tercinta mereka itu.

Ah, semoga siapapun yang terpilih nanti benar-benar bisa merepresentasikan keinginan para pendiri bangsa ini, para pejuang yang telah gugur demi nusantara tercinta ini. Jadi semoga yang akan duduk di kursi dewan rakyat nanti benar-benar bisa merakyat alias mengerti kesulitan rakyat dan benar-benar bisa mensejahterakan rakyat bukan hanya berniat dan obral janji saja. Semoga ….