Jenson Button took his second successive pole position today in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit maintaining his and the Brawn GP team’s perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season.
Team-mate Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth having battled with understeer with his car throughout qualifying. Rubens will incur a five-place grid penalty ahead of tomorrow’s 56-lap race after a gearbox change.
The Brawn-Mercedes drivers topped the times in all three qualifying sessions with Rubens going quickest at the end of Q1 on the soft option tyre and Jenson posting the fastest lap of Q2 on his first set of options having used the harder prime tyre for his previous runs. Both drivers completed two runs in Q3 with Jenson coming out on top to secure his second pole of the season.
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P10 P7 01:35.058 P1 01:33.784 P1 01:35.181
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P9 P1 01:34.681 P6 01:34.387 P4 01:35.651
Weather Hot and humid
Temperatures Air: 29-30°C Track: 36-40°C
“Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It’s not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it’s a first for me in my Formula One career. It’s a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It’s a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities.”
“It was a good qualifying session for the team today and well done to Jenson once again as he had the pace to put the car on pole. Unfortunately on my side of the garage, the car developed understeer in qualifying and we were not able to resolve the problem. However we know the performance of the car in race conditions is strong and I will be aiming to score as many points as possible tomorrow before I can start chasing for my own pole position and wins.”
“It was a great qualifying performance from Jenson and the team today particularly as we had some issues with the balance of the car in yesterday’s practice sessions. At the start of qualifying, there was a distinct possibility of rain so we went out early in Q1 to bank some dry running and from there it was a busy session with the track evolving incredibly quickly. Rubens was struggling for grip under braking which resulted in understeer and he was never completely happy with the balance of his car. With the replacement of his gearbox, this puts him further back on the grid than we would have hoped, however his experience will stand him in good stead in the race. Jenson was much happier with the balance which reflects in his second pole of the season after an excellent lap. It was an incredibly close session and with the prospect of rain in the race tomorrow, we should be in for a very eventful and exciting Malaysian Grand Prix.”
Jenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with VirginJenson Button takes Pole at Australian Grand Prix as Brawn announced partnership with Virgin
Brawn GP is delighted to confirm that the team has agreed a partnership agreement with Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group on the team’s debut race weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The partnership brings together the world championship winning experience of Ross Brawn and the technical expertise of the Brawn GP team with the marketing and business skills of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
This is Virgin’s first foray into the world of Formula One and the first step in what is anticipated to be a broader relationship between the two.
The Brawn GP team’s BGP 001 car will take to the track at Albert Park later this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix featuring Virgin branding.
Ross Brawn, Team Principal of Brawn GP commented; “On behalf of the Brawn GP team, we are delighted to have signed a partnership agreement with Sir Richard and Virgin in Melbourne today. An exciting debut race weekend for our team has become even more important as we have secured our second commercial agreement of the season. We look forward to working closely with the Virgin Group and sharing our on-track successes.”
Sir Richard Branson said; “I have always said I would love for Virgin to be involved in Formula One and I am thrilled that we will be entering this fantastic sport with people as skilled as Ross Brawn and the Brawn GP team. Over the years Virgin has had the great honour of partnering with technical geniuses and I truly believe that Ross Brawn is to F1 what Burt Ratan is to space travel with Virgin Galactic. We are confident that the Virgin BGP 001 car driven by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will go from strength to strength this season and we look forward to a great future working with the Brawn GP team.”
Exactly three weeks after the Brawn GP team ran the BGP 001 for the first time, the car made its competitive debut today at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne on the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took to the track with their helmets liveried in the team’s distinctive yellow, black and white colour scheme to mark the occasion.
Grip levels on the public roads which make up the Albert Park circuit were very low for the first practice session as the team began working through their Friday programme. The drivers concentrated on refining the balance of the BGP 001 to their liking and putting further valuable mileage on the new car. As the track conditions improved in the second session, the team completed a thorough evaluation of the Bridgestone tyre compounds available for this race.
The team’s two BGP 001 cars covered 109 laps of the 5.3km (3.3) mile track today, finishing the second practice session with Rubens in second place on the timesheets and Jenson in fifth position.
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice 1 Free Practice 2
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 21 laps 01:27.226 P4 38 laps 01:26.157 P2
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 12 laps 01:27.467 P6 38 laps 01:26.374 P5
Weather Sunny with a light breeze
Temperatures Air: 18-19°C Track: 25-33°C
“To be here in Melbourne is a real achievement for the team and it feels good to be back in the car and working towards a race weekend strategy again. Despite the limited testing time that we were able to do before this race, we have proved that we have a competitive car and were achieved some good work today. We evaluated both tyres and are happy with the overall performance so I think we have a good chance of a strong qualifying performance tomorrow.”
“It was great to finally get the season underway today. We had a good first day of practice and the long run performance looks competitive, particularly on the harder tyre. We still have some work to do on the softer tyre so that will be a priority for tomorrow’s practice session. I had traffic on both of my new tyres runs at the end of the day which was a shame so we don’t know how quick we are over one lap yet but there is plenty of time to find that out tomorrow.”
“The circuit at Albert Park is very different to the tracks that we used for our limited pre-season testing programme so our focus today has been on setting the car up to suit the conditions that we have here and the preferences of our drivers. Track conditions improved considerably in the second session however we are clearly not alone in finding the experience of running slightly later in the day less favourable than anticipated. It is a useful indication of what we may find when the race runs at a similar time on Sunday. The car performed well and we are pleased with the day’s work experiencing only minor issues which are to be expected with our limited testing mileage. A good start to the weekend.”
Brawn GP is pleased to confirm its first new commercial partnership of the 2009 Formula One season with the announcement of an agreement with British clothing manufacturer Henri Lloyd as Official Supplier of Clothing and Footwear Technology.
Henri Lloyd is widely regarded as one of the market leaders in technical sailing and lifestyle apparel, and has pioneered the development of fabrics, garment design and product development for over 45 years. The company’s extensive knowledge and experience of innovative fabric technology has been applied to Brawn GP’s team clothing for the 2009 season to create a uniform able to adapt to the various climatic environments which the team will encounter at the seventeen races on the Grand Prix calendar.
Founded and based in Manchester, England, Henri Lloyd is extremely proud of its British heritage and delighted to be supporting the Brackley based British team, using the shared values of innovation and performance to continue its product development ambitions in the unique environment of Formula One.
In addition to providing Brawn GP’s team and travel clothing plus the team’s official merchandise range, the Henri Lloyd brand will appear on the BGP 001 car throughout the 2009 Formula One season.
Ross Brawn, Team Principal of Brawn GP commented: “We are delighted to welcome Henri Lloyd to Formula One and to the Brawn GP team. We are particularly proud to begin our association with a company which prides itself on innovation and design and we will be working hard with Henri Lloyd to produce clothing which provides the highest levels of fabric technology for our demanding working environment. The Brawn GP team has faced a race against time to complete our preparations for the first race of the season in Melbourne and we would like to thank Henri Lloyd for sharing our vision for the future of the team and their commitment in ensuring that the team’s identity will be so well reflected in our team clothing and merchandise this year.”
Paul Strzelecki, Joint Chief Executive of Henri Lloyd said; “We are thrilled to announce our official partnership with Brawn GP, a team that reflects our proud British heritage and development of product innovation and technology. We are very excited about our future together and wish the team every success for the 2009 season.”