Button Aiming Low after Poor Showing

Jenson Button says that he is already approaching the Bahrain Grand Prix as a damage limitation exercise after claiming that his BAR team do not have the pace this weekend to challenge at the front

Button Aiming Low after Poor Showing

The Briton, who is chasing his first points of the year, could manage no better than 12th place on the provisional grid - just one slot ahead of his returning teammate Takuma Sato.

And although the team's performance was hindered in part by the fact that Button and Sato had to go out early in the session when the track was at its dirtiest, they are well aware that the BAR 007 is still lacking in overall performance.

"The lap wasn't too bad but it was a bit off the pace really," said Button. "The car felt reasonably good, the balance wasn't too bad. It didn't help going out early in the session but we just didn't have the pace.

"Today we haven't been quick, we haven't been slow either. I thought we lost a few tenths going out first. It never helps going out early, especially with how strong the wind was, but Pedro de la Rosa is still ahead of us and he went out before us.

"If we knew how to make the car quicker we would have done it. There are people very close to me in front, Massa and Ralf, so there's a possibility of getting ahead of a couple of people in final qualifying but that's it."

Teammate Takuma Sato added: "It was a bit difficult to achieve good stability because we were one of the early runners on a dusty track, and because of the wind, especially when I was braking under the tail wind.  It is also incredibly hot out there!

"The balance was much better today and obviously I achieved a lot more running than yesterday, so I am happier in the car and looking forward to tomorrow's final session and then a stronger race."

With the team hoping to introduce major new aerodynamic parts for the San Marino Grand Prix, it is clear that the focus has switched to ensuring that both cars finish in a decent enough position in Bahrain to capitalise on their qualifying slots at Imola.

Button said: "Really we just want to finish a race to be honest and get reasonably near the front for qualifying at Imola, where we have some new parts. It's just about getting a reasonable finish so we can get to the front and do some good qualifying.

"We have to wait and see for the race but in practice it's been reasonable but I don't think we are as quick as we were in Malaysia."

The focus on getting to the finish of the race was echoed by technical director Geoff Willis. He said: "Given our early qualifying slots, our result today was much as we expected. We have not been as happy with the car's handling here as we were at Malaysia, so during this morning's running we ran through a busy programme of set-up changes on both cars.

"The important thing for us this weekend is to get a good race finish, so we have concentrated on getting a consistent balance for the race tomorrow."

shares
comments
Gascoyne Unhappy despite Front Row

Previous article

Gascoyne Unhappy despite Front Row

Next article

Monteiro Vows to Push Harder

Monteiro Vows to Push Harder
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021