Jenson Button says his pole position for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix is just what he and his Brawn GP team needed after months of uncertainty about the future of the Brackley based outfit.
The Brawn GP pairing dominated the opening qualifying knock-out sessions, confirming their pre-season pace, but it was Rubens Barrichello who had the edge over his teammate.
A late charge from Button in the dying seconds of qualifying three saw the British driver take the top spot by three tenths of a second, prompting speculation that Brawn GP have elected to run their drivers on different fuel loads.
Button was delighted with the result and said it was a huge lift for the team after months of uncertainty about the future of the Brackley based outfit – a future which looked stronger today after Richard Branson s Virgin Group was unveiled as the team s chief sponsor.
“The last five and six months have been so tough,” he said after locking out an all Brawn front row in Melbourne. “Having gone from not having a drive or a future in racing to putting it on pole here is just amazing, it really is, and all credit must go to the team for making this happen.”
“This is where we deserve to be after the tough times we have had.”
He added: “This morning’s pace was pretty good on both tyres and I was really happy, but I didn’t know what the others’ pace was – and you don’t know untill qualifying. They seemed a bit closer than I thought especially in Q1 and Q2 where they were only one or two tenths behind us. I was struggling a bit on low fuel but when we put more fuel in the car felt normal – and that’s a good thing isn’t it.”