Button plots Brawn fightback at the ring.
Jenson Button is hoping that several aerodynamic improvements to his Brawn GP car ahead of next week’s German Grand Prix will put him back on level terms with the Red Bull cars.
Button arrives at the NÃ¼rburgring with a healthy 25 point lead over his main rival, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, after dominating the opening rounds of the season.
But in last week’s British Grand Prix, Red Bull demonstrated that they had taken a major step forward in performance as Vettel, unchallenged by the Button-Brawn package – which was hampered by a lack of grip – romped home to victory.
Key to Red Bull’s turnaround has been the way the team has integrated a double diffuser onto its car, while a revised front and rear wing package has given the Adrian Newey-designed RB5 a significant advantage in the high speed corners.
Going into next week’s German Grand Prix at the NÃ¼rburgring – which, although a slower circuit retains some of the high-speed direction changes that characterise Silverstone – Button and Brawn know they will have to up their game to defend their championship lead.
“We’re looking forward to showing what the car can do at the NÃ¼rburgring after a disappointing weekend by our standards at the British Grand Prix,” says Button.
“My last stint at Silverstone showed that the pace of the car is really competitive so we’re confident that we can turn it around at this race. I’m sure we will see a really intense fight with our closest competitors and hopefully a great race for the fans.”
Button suffered from a lack of grip at Silverstone, and the team are hoping that several new aerodynamic parts will help them fight off the challenge from Red Bull.
“We have several new aerodynamic parts from Silverstone which were not used in qualifying and the race due to the issues that we faced there, along with additional improvements scheduled for the NÃ¼rburgring, which should position us well going into the weekend,” explains Brawn team principal Ross Brawn.
“Whilst coming away with third and sixth placed finishes from Silverstone was still a good outcome from our home Grand Prix, we would be the first to admit that the result did not meet our expectations. However we have always said that we would have a fight on our hands to maintain our excellent run of results at the start of the season.”
Button and Barrichello on the NÃ¼rburgring:
Button: “The NÃ¼rburgring is a tricky circuit but there are two key characteristics which should be good for our car. It is a relatively slow circuit with a lot of medium-speed corners which are one of the strengths of the BGP 001. The NÃ¼rburgring is also one of the heaviest braking circuits on the calendar so you need a car which will be good through the four heavy braking zones.”
Barrichello: “I have always enjoyed racing at the NÃ¼rburgring and it provides a good challenge for the drivers. The layout and flow is nice which allows you to get into a rhythm and there are some interesting undulations and bumps to look out for.”
“I won the race here back in 2002 so the circuit always holds some good memories for me. The weather can be a little unpredictable due to its location right in the Eifel Mountains but we’ll be hoping for some warmer temperatures than we saw at Silverstone for the last race. The first corner here is really important to set yourself up for a good lap and it’s a bumpy run down from the start line.”
“You have to get your approach absolutely right and position yourself well for a good exit. However it is also one of the best overtaking opportunities if the cars around you slide straight on so you need to be alert to take advantage of any opportunities. Many of the corners at the NÃ¼rburgring are off-camber so getting the correct line for your corner entry is important all round the lap. We haven’t raced here for a couple of years so it will be interesting to see how the circuit feels in a good car.”