Brawn: British GP win not essential
|By Simon Strang||Sunday, June 21st 2009, 11:17 GMT|
Ross Brawn has urged championship leader Jenson Button not to get downbeat over the prospect of losing his home race to Red Bull in today's British Grand Prix.
After conceding that Red Bull has a performance advantage over his own team at Silverstone, Brawn said Button's long-term championship prospects should be the Briton's focus this weekend.
"The championship is not won just for winning every race, it's not normal," said Brawn. "Championships are won with a combination of race wins and solid finishes. I think Jenson will finish higher than sixth - that is not his relative performance. He is more in the top three or four cars.
"He has got a tough challenge, he has got a couple of cars on less fuel in front of him, but he has still got to try and keep in touch with the front pack."
Brawn admitted that Button's problems in qualifying with low tyre temperatures were compounded by Sebastian Vettel producing an exceptional performance in qualifying to take pole. But he added that the German still needed to keep his composure at the start of the race if he was to capitalise on it.
"If you look at the fuel loads Sebastian's lap was very impressive," said Brawn. "Clearly they have got the car working very well here, and it's sheer performance.
"Unless the track temperature helps us in a disproportionate way, I think we are going to have quite a tough race. But a lot can happen. There have been one or two races which they may have won but haven't, and I hope [the British GP] is one of them.
"On performance they look stronger than we do, but we've got to put all the rest of the stuff together. Good strategy, good pit stops, good starts – I think we understand what happened with Rubens' clutch at the last race in Turkey.
"Sebastian always seems a little bit anxious at starts so we will take our opportunities if they come. On a straight race they look very strong."
Brawn added that he was not overly concerned by Button's lack of performance in the cooler temperatures and pointed to other races where that had proved to be an advantage.
"The tyre temperatures are running are lower than we need to achieve to try and get the best results," he said. "But we have had that before, remember China in the rain we couldn't generate the temperature again, so when we are in this circumstance the car is very gentle on its tyres and we struggle.
"It's good in other circumstances, in Monaco, we were able to run the option and while Sebastian damaged his in four laps we were able to do quite a long stint with Jenson.
"There are other circumstances where that is to our benefit, but here it seems to be hurting us."