Button rues lack of grip

button5Championship leader Jenson Button admits Brawn GP have a lot of work to do ahead of qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix after struggling with a lack of grip in Friday practice.

Button, who has built up a commanding lead in the world championship with five wins out of six, knows he will have to improve on his early pace in Istanbul if he is to maintain his winning streak.

The Brawn driver struggled on the softer compound tyres and wound up eleventh and twelfth in the opening practice sessions, over half a second off the pace though the gap is unlikely to be as large come qualifying due to the teams experimenting on different fuel loads.

“We’ve had a tough first day of practice trying to find a good balance with the car,” he conceded. “We tried many different set-up options over the course of the two sessions but unfortunately could not get the car to where I want it to be and struggled with a lack of grip.”

Button is confident however that it will not take much work for the underlying pace of the BGP001 to be unlocked.

“We now have a great deal of information to review after trying a few evaluations and believe that we have some understanding of what is causing the problems,” he said. “We need to have a good look at everything tonight and I’m hopeful that we can resolve today’s issues and have a better day tomorrow.”

Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn echoed Button’s confidence that the team would be back on the pace in qualifying.

“We’ve had a challenging opening day to the Turkish Grand Prix weekend as we faced issues on both sides of the garage,” he said. “The team worked very hard in both sessions on a number of set-up changes and whilst we made some progress, we were not able to find a good enough balance on either car.”

“We also experienced a lack of grip on both the prime and option tyre. I’m confident that we will get to the bottom of this overnight and should be in a much better position ready for qualifying tomorrow.”