Button rues lack of grip

button2Championship leader Jenson Button says low track temperatures were to blame for his disappointing result in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

The Brawn driver salvaged sixth place at his home race as he watched Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing romp to their second win of the season.

Jenson Button: “All points are important at this stage of the season and to come away with three from this weekend is therefore ok but it’s been a very frustrating home Grand Prix for us. I had a bad start as Trulli was slow off the line in front of me which left nowhere to go. I tried the inside and then the outside but everyone shot by me. From ninth place it was never going to be an easy race.”

“I was stuck behind Trulli for the first stint which was really frustrating as the car felt good on the softer tyre and I was much quicker than him but couldn’t overtake. We then had a long middle stint on the harder tyre and both Rubens and I struggled to get the tyres into their working range in the cool conditions with a heavy fuel load.”

“On the softer rubber at the end of the race, I was able to close right up to Rosberg and Massa very easily so the pace of the car was actually pretty good but it is so difficult to overtake that I couldn’t make any improvement on sixth position with only a few laps left. We need to understand why our car doesn’t work so well at low temperatures and hope for warmer races to come.”

Teammate Rubens Barrichello also struggled with a lack of grip and lost out to Red Bull’s Mark Webber at the first round of pit stops. He still managed to leave the Northants track with a podium though.

Rubens Barrichello: “I’m really proud of the third place that we achieved at Silverstone today. It’s been a tough weekend for the team and we knew that if the track temperatures didn’t increase, then it would be incredibly difficult to beat the Red Bulls.”

“The car has been well balanced and we certainly haven’t lost performance since the last race, it’s just that we have suffered badly in the cool conditions with our tyre temperatures. I had a good start to maintain second but Sebastian then disappeared in front of me and we knew that we were competing for third.”

“There’s been very little difference between the two tyre compounds this weekend but the softer tyre was definitely better in the race so it was tough for us to do the long middle stint on the harder tyre. Still to come away with third and the best position that the team could have achieved this weekend is very satisfying and I’m happy to have taken some points out of Jenson’s lead.”

Ross Brawn: “Today’s result was a pleasing outcome to what has been a challenging home race for the team this weekend. Rubens drove a very composed race to achieve his second consecutive podium finish at Silverstone whilst Jenson recovered well from a poor start to score valuable points for our Championship challenge. We knew from the outset that our car does not work particularly well with the tyres at lower track temperatures and this was clearly evident at Shanghai earlier in the season. The balance of the car and the pace shown by Jenson in the last few laps of the race are however encouraging and we will be taking a close look at the issues that we experienced with the tyres to see what countermeasures can be taken. Congratulations to Red Bull for a superb one-two finish today and we look forward to taking the fight to them in Germany.”