Button Fears Qualifying Struggle

Jenson Button fears that he may still pay the price for BAR's embarrassing Malaysian Grand Prix exit, despite a more encouraging day for the team in Bahrain on Friday

Button Fears Qualifying Struggle

The Briton's early retirement from the Sepang race means he will be the third driver out onto the track for qualifying in Bahrain - a factor that will likely hamper him with sandy conditions almost certain to improve drastically during the session.

"We are looking forward to tomorrow but it's a problem that I'm starting so early on in qualifying," said Button, who ended up ninth fastest after first practice. "That's going to hurt me a little bit.

"Hopefully if we get a reasonable qualifying position then we know that our car is good in race spec, so hopefully we will be able to get a reasonable result. It was a reasonable session, just running through all our test data."

With the fight at the front looking fairly close, Button is well aware that BAR are going to have to focus on finding every possible performance step they can from the BAR 007 - which likely means a fraught night's work for the engineers.

"There is still a lot of work to do tonight," he said. "We are not sitting here thinking we are going to be on the podium if we just leave the car as it is, pack it away and get it out in the morning.

"There is still a lot of work to be done, but I think we can improve the car so it's a competitive car tomorrow."

Button's teammate Takuma Sato, back in the car after the fever that forced him out of the Malaysia event, had a fairly incident-packed day to end up 12th overall. He suffered a gearbox after completing just two laps in the morning session and suffered a spin in the afternoon, which left him briefly stranded on the track when his anti-stall system cut the engine.

"I struggled with low grip situations and I spun, but the engine cut out. It wasn't a big problem," he said. "The car is working good despite having such a little run and a gearbox problem this morning. We are very happy."

Asked about how he felt following his Malaysian fever, Sato said: "I'm very good now. I got some flu and a little virus.

"I had a bad high fever with a lot of pain in my muscles so I had to miss the race. I was quite bad. I am feeling very well now."

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