Brawn vows to control driver tension
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Tuesday, October 6th 2009, 10:12 GMT|
Ross Brawn says he is doing everything he possibly can to ensure the tension between his drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello stays under control as the championship reaches its climax.
With just two races remaining, Button is 14 points ahead of Barrichello, who will be looking to win the next race at Interlagos to take the title battle down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.
If the Brazilian wins his home race, Button will need to finish in third to secure the title.
Brawn acknowledges there is just a limited amount of things he can do to ease the tension between his drivers, but says he is working intelligently to make sure the issues are minimised and the "negative" tension does not affect the team.
"I think you do what you can to minimise the tension and pressure that comes from being in this position, so I want to work diligently, intelligently and carefully," said Brawn.
"But you just look around and make sure there is no tensions creeping in that can be negative and if there are then you deal with them.
"But that's as much as you can do. Work as well as you can, as precisely as you can, in much the same way as you have before. It has been a very up and down season this year. It has been very difficult to predict how you are going to do at each race.
"So we had some races where we thought Red Bull would be very strong and they haven't been, other races where we thought we might be strong and we haven't been so it's quite a difficult season to predict.
"So each race you go to you're never quite sure how competitive you are going to be and how competitive the other cars are going to be so it's tricky in that respect."
Brawn also conceded there is some concern that having to focus on this year's car so much to win the title will pose a development problem next season, especially with some teams having already shifted their focus to 2010.
"It's true to some degree," Brawn said. "We have been conscious of a need to make sure next year's programme is well supported. I think conceptually the car is not so different next year but it's a non refuelling car so the fuel capacity is higher, the tyres are different.
"But the things we are doing aerodynamically now we can carry over to next year so it's not such a dramatic change. I think also everybody knows where they should be targeting.
"So we know what performance we have this year, we know what we should try and achieve next year, whereas some of the teams came in to this year not really knowing where they should be. I don't think it is quite as challenging next year as it was from 2008 to 2009."
The team boss admitted the situation, with his outfit fighting for both titles, has drastically changed the morale of his staff over the past year.
The Brackley-based squad, previously known as Honda, endured a dismal 2008 season and its future was in doubt when the Japanese car maker announced it was pulling out from F1.
"It's inevitable that if you are in this business, if you are getting results then it is a great motivator. The team worked very well last year. They worked very hard and they were very committed, but when you are winning races and fighting for a championship it does give you an extra incentive.
"It's natural and it is human. It is a very good team, I've worked with some great teams in the past and it is an excellent team. They are a good group of people, they work well together, it's a good spirit in the team. It does help.
"Inevitably this year is nicer for the guys than last year, when they were working just as hard and just as diligently but nothing was coming."