Good start to hot weekend for Brawn GP
Formula One returned to action today at the Valencia Street Circuit in Spain for the first day of practice ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix. Brawn GP's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello completed a busy programme in the two practice sessions which took place in perfect summer conditions around the Juan Carlos I Marina.
After intensive work at the factory following the summer shutdown, the team's focus today was on making the most of the available track time to validate some of the conclusions reached on the performance of the car. Both drivers followed very similar programmes evaluating a range of set-up options and working with the soft and super soft tyre compounds.
Jenson completed 52 laps to finish the afternoon in second position whilst Rubens completed 53 laps and finished in third place after topping the timesheets in the morning session.
Jenson Button: "We've had a reasonably good first day of practice and it's encouraging to see that the car seems to be on the pace again. The focus of our programme was on set-up checks and back-to-back evaluations to confirm that the work done back at the factory after our shutdown was in the right direction. There is still some work needed on the set-up before qualifying as I'm not completely happy with the balance but all in all the pace of the car seems reasonably good."
Rubens Barrichello: "It feels great to be back to what seems to be a competitive level of pace. The two practice sessions today went well with a lot of work achieved on both sides of the garage. I'm pretty happy with the data that we collected and with the way that the car developed over the course of the day. If we can continue in this direction then it should be a good weekend."
Ross Brawn: "We've had a good start to the weekend today with two strong practice sessions. The track temperatures are very high here, reaching 50°C this afternoon, so we have been able to manage our tyre temperatures well and not encounter the issues which have hampered our pace at the past few races. Both drivers followed very similar programmes as we revisited some set-ups from previous races as test items to increase our understanding of the car's performance. The initial feedback is that Jenson and Rubens are broadly in agreement on the direction that we should follow from here. and we've pleased to have collected so much data to apply here and take onto the next race in Spa. Overall it's been a positive beginning to the weekend."