In an intense qualifying hour at the heat-soaked Bahrain International Circuit, the Brawn GP team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth and sixth positions respectively for Sunday's 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix. With air ...
In an intense qualifying hour at the heat-soaked Bahrain International Circuit, the Brawn GP team's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth and sixth positions respectively for Sunday's 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix.
With air temperatures reaching as high as 38C and track temperatures just above 50C, the conditions were hotter for qualifying than in the practice sessions yesterday and this morning.
Both Brawn-Mercedes drivers favoured the softer option tyre for the majority of the session, using the prime tyre for only the first of their six runs. The pair were closely matched throughout the qualifying hour and even set identical lap times in Q2.
Neither driver had a perfect lap in Q3 as Jenson struggled for grip and Rubens encountered traffic on his out-lap. Their times will see Jenson line up on the second row of the grid in fourth place with Rubens directly behind on the third row in sixth position.
"We were aiming for pole position today but unfortunately it wasn't our best qualifying session of the season and the pace just wasn't there. I didn't have a great lap on my final run in Q3 and we were struggling for grip on the corner exits and locking tyres throughout the session. We were surprised by our lack of pace and the quicker pace of our competitors today who have obviously made advances and caught up quickly. It's going to be a tough race tomorrow however our long-run pace with heavy fuel was really competitive on Friday so that will stand us in good stead if we can get a clean start."
"Unfortunately qualifying didn't go as well as we planned today. I suffered from traffic on my final run in Q3 when I was in the middle of a group were taking it slowly on their out laps. That was different to my approach and meant that I couldn't get enough temperature into the tyres which compromised my quick lap. Our competitors are improving and it will be interesting to see how that affects the race. It's going to be tough but I am confident that good points are possible tomorrow."
"The track and ambient temperatures are incredibly high here today and we are learning all the time how to make the tyres and chassis work in such extreme conditions. The track has evolved since morning practice and neither driver was completely happy with the balance of their car. However we were able to make progress through the sessions and have secured decent grid positions for the race tomorrow. The forecast is for slightly cooler weather which should be beneficial for the performance of the track and car. We will reflect on our qualifying performance overnight and see what we can learn ahead of the race."
-credit: brawn gp