Brawn GP's Jenson Button secured his third pole position of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today in qualifying for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello put his Brawn-Mercedes car on the second row of the grid after a closely-fought qualifying hour and will start from third place.
Jenson and Rubens both used the Bridgestone Potenza prime tyre for their first run in Q1 before switching to the softer option tyre for the remainder of the hour. The pair were closely matched throughout qualifying with Rubens having the advantage over the low fuel runs in Q1 and Q2, posting the fastest lap of the day at the end of Q2.
After crossing the line for his final flying lap in Q3 with just two seconds to spare, Jenson put in a fantastic lap on his race fuel load to snatch pole position from Sebastian Vettel. Rubens rounded off a great result for the team with his third place.
"An unexpected but very pleasing pole position today and it is probably my most satisfying pole of the season. Rubens been really quick all weekend and I was able to benefit from that by looking at his set-up to overcome some of the issues that we faced in practice yesterday. My final lap in Q3 was by far the best lap that I've had this weekend but it was a bit close crossing the line with just two seconds to spare! The upgrades that we have on the car here are performing well and it is certainly a good step forward for us although we haven't got the most out of the package yet. The team has done a great job with the developments and I hope that everyone at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth enjoyed the pole today. It's really important to start from the front here as overtaking can be difficult but we do have Felipe behind us with KERS so a good start will be crucial tomorrow."
"We have had a really good weekend so far here in Spain and I'm happy to be starting from third position on the grid tomorrow. Of course it is a little disappointing not to be on pole after a great Q2 however my final lap in Q3 was good. We may have gone out slightly too early for the final run and missed an opportunity there. However I'm happy with our strategy and we are well placed for the race. We will need to get off the line cleanly and stay ahead of the Ferrari down to the first corner to make the most of our potential."
"Congratulations to Jenson for his third pole position of the season and another great job from Rubens to secure third place. After some hard work from the team overnight, we were able to resolve the issues which Jenson encountered with our upgrade package yesterday and were greatly helped in that process by the input from Rubens. The developments on the car have enabled us to make good progress over the weekend and whilst we are still to fully maximise their impact on performance, the signs are encouraging. Rubens was very quick in the first two sessions on low fuel today with Jenson having the edge on the heavier fuel loads in Q3. Today's result puts us in a good position and we look forward to a very exciting race."