Ross Brawn was overjoyed with Jenson Button’s victory in the Turkey. The Brawn GP supremo, could not put into words how strong the Briton’s performance was in today’s Grand Prix as Button placed on hand on the World Drivers’ Championship Trophy.
However, the day didn’t not go entirely smoothly for Brawn as Barrichello suffered numerous problems. The Brazilian suffered problems from the start with his clutch, eventually leading to his retirement with suspected gearbox damage.
Jenson Button – 1st: “I wish I could have had the whole team up there on the podium with me today! This was definitely a victory for us all, everyone at the track, back at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth. Today we really showed what this car and engine can do and to beat our closest competitors fair and square is a great feeling.
“I had a good start from the dirty side of the grid and it was really important to maintain second position into the first corner. I took my opportunity on the first lap when Sebastian went wide and from there we controlled the race. Once we knew that Sebastian was going for a three-stop strategy, we filled the car up at my first stop and I just tried to be as consistent as possible to keep him behind me.
“It’s not nice to see a car catching you so quickly, even when you know he is on low fuel, but once he pitted I was able to push harder. I had a smile on my face for pretty much every lap today, the car felt that good, and I was able to back off in the last stint to conserve the engine. This is the first time that the car has been absolutely perfect for me and it means so much to the team to see just how good this car is. To go to Silverstone for our home race leading the Championships is a wonderful feeling but we know that we have to keep pushing to maintain our advantage.”
Rubens Barrichello – DNF: “It was a difficult and immensely frustrating day for me today. We had a problem with the clutch at the start which caused the car to go into anti-stall so I wasn’t able to get off the line. That dropped me back into the pack and to complicate things further, I was hitting the limiter on the straights which meant that I couldn’t overtake and had to take risks.
“So it was an eventful first half of the race as I tried to compensate for the problems and I had a couple of incidents with other cars. I was prepared to fight my way up the field but the damage caused to the gearbox by the problems at the start began to get worse so the team had to retire my car. It’s difficult to have a day like this when you could see the pace of the car was fantastic but we will bounce back. Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits so I’ll stay positive and look ahead to the British Grand Prix in two weeks time.”
Ross Brawn: “I’m beginning to run out of superlatives to describe our season! Jenson drove an outstanding race today and demonstrated the level of talent and composure that we have come to expect. Once again, the team here at the track, in Brackley and our close partners at Mercedes-Benz worked extremely hard this weekend to improve the car and achieve the perfect set-up that we had for the race today. My sincere thanks to them all for their commitment and enthusiasm.
“On Rubens’ side, we had a problem with his clutch off the start line which was similar to that which we experienced at the opening race in Melbourne. In attempting to recover and get off the grid, the transmission was over-torqued. As his race progressed, it became increasingly evident that this had caused a serious problem with the gearbox and we retired the car whilst the damage was contained. It’s extremely frustrating for all concerned when the car was balanced and working well for Rubens going into the race.
“We will look into the cause of the problem to ensure that this is rectified. We can now look ahead to Silverstone, just eight miles from our factory in Brackley, and take great pride to be leading the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships going into our home race.”