Button rallies the troops ahead of European assault

114Jenson Button made a special visit to his team’s headquarters in Brackley last week to check on Brawn GP’s preparations ahead of the decisive next few races in Europe.

The 29-year-old, who has won three out of the four opening races, arrives in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix with an eleven point lead over teammate Rubens Barrichello, but he knows he will have to fight hard to defend his position at the top of the championship leader board after coming under intense pressure from Red Bull Racing and Toyota in recent races.

Which is why he made a special visit to Brawn GP’s Brackley headquarters to check on the progress of a significant aerodynamic upgrade to the BGP001 for Spain, which could make or break his championship campaign.

“I visited the factory last week to join the team for a small celebration of our successes to date and catch up on the progress with our latest developments,” he said. “We know that we have a real fight on our hands from here to maintain our lead in the championships but I am confident that we are well prepared.”

Team principal Ross Brawn, who is currently at loggerheads with Bernie Ecclestone over prize money owed to Honda Racing in 2008, is also all to aware of the threat from rival teams in Europe, but the Englishman is confident that the revised BGP001 will help Brawn GP retain their advantage.

“The field has compressed considerably since the season opening race in Australia and the performance margins at the front are now very tight indeed,” he said. “Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona this weekend.”

Bernie Ecclestone meanwhile has delivered a blow to the Brackley squad saying that they will not be entitled to Honda Racing’s prize money since they are effectively now a new team.