Belgian GP: Brawn GP qualifying report

Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid tomorrow having qualified his Brawn-Mercedes car in fourth position at the end of a thrilling qualifying hour in Spa. Team-mate Jenson Button had a...

Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid tomorrow having qualified his Brawn-Mercedes car in fourth position at the end of a thrilling qualifying hour in Spa. Team-mate Jenson Button had a more challenging session and will start the race from 14th position.

Rubens ran close to the front of the field as he worked on getting the best from his car on the softer option tyre. He progressed comfortably through Q1 and Q2 before taking part in a very competitive final session where his fastest lap was good enough for fourth position as the quickest of the drivers involved in the championship battle.

Jenson struggled with the balance of his car throughout with a lack of rear grip on the option tyre proving crucial in the middle sector. With some quick lap times being set, he was not able to make it out of Q2 and will start from 14th place on the grid.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO
"I'm extremely happy with our qualifying performance today and the second row of the grid is a great starting position for the race. The results today have to be one of the biggest surprises of the year and it's great for Giancarlo Fisichella to be up there on pole. It's good to see that the 'old-timers' still have it! I took the best out of my car today, particularly in Q2 which was one of my best laps around Spa, but that was only enough for sixth position in that session. We've been quite aggressive on the strategy and the race is wide open tomorrow so I'll push as much as I can and we can get a good result from here."

JENSON BUTTON
"I didn't expect to qualify in 14th position today but we really struggled with grip levels, particularly on the softer tyre. The car hasn't felt quite right all weekend and unfortunately I wasn't able to get any more out of it today. Rubens and I are usually very closely matched but he was quick on the option and I wasn't so we need to look into the reasons for that. I just couldn't find any grip on the softer rubber so the rear end felt unstable and I had no confidence under braking, particularly in the middle sector. It's strange as our set-ups are different but not by much. It's going to be very tough in the race from here but at least we have more time to choose our strategy. We need to get it right and see if we can score some points tomorrow."

ROSS BRAWN
"It was a challenging qualifying hour today and the end result has seen one of the most mixed-up grids of the season which is great for the sport and will probably make for a very interesting race tomorrow. Rubens put in another very strong performance today and fourth place on the grid, with an aggressive strategy, puts him in a good position for the race tomorrow. It's fair to say that qualifying got away from us a little bit today with Jenson. We have been struggling with the car balance on his side this weekend and although some changes were made overnight, we were not able to get the car to a position which he felt comfortable with. Looking on the positive side, our main championship rivals are behind one of our cars and only a few places ahead of the other. We have focused on our race performance during the practice sessions here and believe we will have the pace to take the fight to them tomorrow."

-credit: brawn gp

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Mercedes , Brawn GP