Brawn suffer horror qualifying

Brawn GP experienced a difficult qualifying session for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix, with both championship contenders having to contend with a number of dramas.

Before the session, Ruben Barrichello was forced to change his gearbox – automatically giving him a five-place penalty on the grid. Although the Brazilian made it into the final segment of qualifying, he made a mistake on his final qualifying run and collided with the barrier, red flagging the session.

With his penalty in mind, Barrichello will start tenth.

Jenson Button also experienced difficulties in qualifying as the Briton was eliminated in the Q2 after a scruffy lap.

Despite their woes, Brawn remain upbeat about tomorrow’s and hope to make up some places over the course of the race.

Rubens Barrichello – 5th: “It was an eventful qualifying session for me today but I’m still feeling positive with starting from tenth position on the grid. Considering everything that happened, I feel that it’s a pretty good result. I had a problem with the car after Q2 when I hit the kerb too hard and probably damaged the floor as the car wasn’t feeling quite right at the end of the session. It was a great lap to get into Q3 as we were struggling for pace and I knew that I had to push regardless of any damage. I was really going for it on my final run in Q3 and unfortunately the car bottomed out and I lost control and ended up bouncing off the wall. It’s a shame but the car should be ok and we can look forward to the race tomorrow.”

Jenson Button – 12th: “It was a frustrating qualifying session for us today. The car felt pretty good in Q1 and I was the second quickest which was positive. We had a bit of understeer so we made some changes for Q2 but unfortunately it made the car very difficult under braking and I locked the front left tyre up into turn seven which lost me a lot of time. Then with a flat-spotted front tyre, it’s impossible to make the time up around here so that was my qualifying over. We’ll make the best of it tomorrow of course but starting from twelfth on the grid is going to make it a tough race.”

Ross Brawn: “It was a difficult qualifying session for the team in Singapore this evening. Prior to qualifying, we took the decision to change the gearbox in Rubens’ car as this is a heavy duty cycle track for gearboxes and further dyno simulations had shown that keeping the box was too risky. Both drivers progressed comfortably through Q1 then we struggled in Q2 and were not able to get the cars balanced. Rubens put in a good lap at the end to progress with Jenson suffering from understeer throughout the day. We made some significant changes to his car prior to qualifying but were not able to get into the top ten. We expected to be more competitive in Q3 but with Rubens’ accident, it’s clearly not been a great day. We have to tough it out and see what we can recover tomorrow.”