Japanese GP: Brawn qualifying report

QUALIFYING Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button came through a chaotic and delayed qualifying session at the Suzuka circuit today to qualify their Brawn-Mercedes cars in fifth and seventh positions respectively for tomorrow's Japanese...

QUALIFYING

Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button came through a chaotic and delayed qualifying session at the Suzuka circuit today to qualify their Brawn-Mercedes cars in fifth and seventh positions respectively for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix.*

Both drivers progressed easily through Q1 before taking part in a heavily disrupted Q2. Red flags following big crashes by Jaime Alguesuari and Timo Glock left Jenson and Rubens with just one flying lap at the end of the session which saw them progress to Q3 with Jenson in fourth position and Rubens in sixth position.

Q3 also saw a red flag interruption, this time for Heikki Kovalainen's crash, and the team decided to send Rubens and Jenson out for just one quick lap on new option tyres which saw them qualify in fifth and seventh places.

<pre> RESULTS

Drivers             Car No. Chassis No.  Free Practice Qualifying 1      Qualifying 2     Qualifying 3
Rubens Barrichello  23      BGP 001-03   P7            P7  01:31.272     P6  01:31.055    P5  01:32.660
Jenson Button       22      BGP 001-02   P9            P3  01:31.041     P4  01:30.880    P7  01:32.962
Weather            Warm and sunny
Temperatures       Air: 26-27o.C         Track: 34-40o.C

</pre>

RUBENS BARRICHELLO

"I'm happy with my qualifying today considering the pace that we have here in Suzuka. We didn't have particularly competitive sessions in Q1 and Q2 and it was difficult to predict where we might end up. However my car worked well on race fuel loads and in terms of the championship, I'm pleased to be ahead of Jenson on comparable fuel loads in the final session. It was tough today and you had to maintain your concentration despite all the incidents and delays. Suzuka is a fantastic track, one of the best that we race on, but today shows just how tricky it is to drive."

JENSON BUTTON

"It wasn't the easiest of qualifying sessions with so little practice yesterday and all of the interruptions. Three red flags during qualifying is very unusual and I hope that everyone involved is ok. It wasn't too stressful as we had all the information that we needed and just had to keep calm and focus on our next run. The car was working well in the first two sessions and definitely felt better on low fuel. With fuel onboard in Q3 I struggled with rear grip through the first sector and that's where I lost the time on my quick lap as the car was working well through the rest of the lap. We expected this and knew that we would have to make the best of the situation."

ROSS BRAWN

"Today's qualifying was quite chaotic with long delays in the final two sessions and I'm pleased with how the team reacted to the changing circumstances and kept calm throughout. We were realistic on our expectations prior to qualifying and it is evident that our major area of concern comes in the first sector where our car seems to struggle with the change of direction required through the S Curves. Both drivers did a good job to combat this issue where possible.

* "We have learnt this evening that Rubens and Jenson have been penalised with five-place grid penalties for failing to reduce their speed under the yellow flag in Q2. We acknowledge and respect the decision of the stewards and will do our best to have a good race tomorrow."

-credit: brawngp

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello , Heikki Kovalainen , Timo Glock
Teams Mercedes , Brawn GP