Q & A with Button and Barrichello
|By Jonathan Noble and Simon Strang||Saturday, April 25th 2009, 16:21 GMT|
Q. How was qualifying?
Rubens Barrichello: Well do you want to know my real feeling, it is probably not good to write, but anyway. Worse than I expected and the fact is we didn't have as competitive car as we thought we had yesterday. Formula 1 is moving quite fast, and I think Toyota and Red Bull could well be ahead of us in qualifying now. So we need to work on that.
Plus what affected me was that I left the pits in between two cars and the way they approached the lap was with a very slow out lap, for me I needed to keep up the pace. I tried to overtake, couldn't and then I lost temperature on the tyres and that was it. My car was completely different just because of the temperature of the tyres. It's very unfortunate.
Q. How do you feel about the car's race pace?
RB: Yesterday we were better than everyone, and so it remains to be seen yet. China I was very that I could win the race if it was dry, I had more fuel, I had more pace - everything. And if we attacked in qualifying with less fuel in China, I should have been on pole. This time no way, not for me, not for Jenson so we need to see where we stand tomorrow. I'm pretty sure we can put both cars on the podium, having said that Toyota and Red Bull are the favourites right now.
Q. Where do you think the pace has gone?
RB: We didn't have any improvements for the last two races, and apparently people did improve here and there. For me, I was very surprised to see Red Bulls in Shanghai, I was expecting Toyota to go well. This time the surprise is Hamilton with the pace. We cannot forget that this track is probably more in favour of the KERS than the other three, but it's a bad surprise this time.
Q. Do you think a lack of updates might be something you struggle with this season against teams with more resource?
RB: Let's wait and see. Next race we have an update and if it is as predictable as the car was before it was born, then it is going to be good.
Q. How was qualifying?
Jenson Button: It was slippery. I just couldn't find any grip out there in qualifying. Our balance wasn't that great on low fuel, it was a little bit better on heavy fuel as we normally find with this car. But we don't have the pace and with this heat we are just struggling quite a bit to try and get a balance.
Our pace yesterday on longer runs was very good, but we just can't get a lap out of it and we've lost out compared to our competitors. Yesterday we were quick and today we are not so quick. I wouldn't put our position on the grid down to our fuel load, I don't think we are running heavy, I think we are maybe a little bit light.
The Toyotas and Lewis will be around the same lap as us I think and I think Vettel is longer so... We haven't got the pace, we are slower than the Toyotas and I think also the Red Bulls, over one lap. But I think on the long runs we do have some pace so we have just got to hope that we can get some clear circuit time tomorrow in the race and we can make the difference there.
The problem is if we are stopping on the same lap as everyone, there is no way of making the time up. So it is going to be a tough race and Turn 1 is going to be interesting.
Q. Where do you think that one lap pace has gone?
JB: We didn't have it so much in Shanghai either. But it feels like everyone else has made a little step forward since Shanghai also and the Toyota, whatever lap they're on, and they are not going to be on something stupid, they are still quicker than us, and if they are on the same lap then they are massively quicker than us.
It's a little bit surprising, their pace, there is no reason why our shouldn't work compared to Shanghai or Malaysia, but it doesn't work as well here. We have just got to hope tomorrow that we have the pace on long runs and that we get some clear circuit time.
Q. Which of the three guys ahead of you do you see as the biggest danger?
JB: I think Sebastian is probably the one. He is going to be competitive because their pace in Q2 was very good and I think Red Bull are heavier than the Toyotas. I think Jarno did a superb lap, I really do, but I think the Red Bull is probably a little bit quicker. But tomorrow my biggest issue is having Lewis alongside me because he has got KERS off the start, and I don't think his pace in the race will be as good as the other cars in front of me so that's one of the biggest issues.
Q. Are you worried about the other KERS cars such as Fernando Alonso's Renault?
JB: I would hope they can't get us, because it is about seven or eight metres effect the KERS so they shouldn't be alongside me into Turn 1. That's more Rubens's problem than mine. So Turn 1 is going to be interesting and we have got to get through it cleanly. We have just got to hope that we are one lap longer than some of the guys in front, and if we are then we can make the difference there.
But I don't think it's going to be quite that way. But it is a long race and it is bloody hot, so if you are not looking after your tyres then you are going to struggle so We have definitely got the upper hand when it comes to long run pace, we can have a very consistent run, whereas other people are going sky high with their laptimes so we have that advantage for sure. Hopefully we can hold on to that in the race.
Q. Are your brakes okay because Toro Rosso has got worries about brakes?
JB: No we are fine. I mean it is very hot here for every component; the brakes, the engine, the drivers. It's staggeringly hot in the car it feels like you are in a sauna. So it's tough, and also if you are in the pack it is going to be very tough. I think you will see a lot of cars pulling out on the straight just so they can get air in to the ducts.