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Button Not Surprised with BAR Pace

A confident Jenson Button has admitted that he is not too surprised to have been near the top of the timesheets on the opening day of practice for the San Marino Grand Prix as his transformed BAR 007 hit the ground running

After a new aerodynamic package helped Button and teammate Takuma Sato break lap records at Barcelona and Paul Ricard during recent testing, Button proved that BAR could be back in the hunt for race victories as he was only pipped to the top of the standings by McLaren's third driver Pedro de la Rosa.

"Today has shown that we have reason to be confident for the weekend ahead," explained Button. "Obviously it's early in our preparation to be making any firm predictions for Sunday but this is where I would have expected to be in the timesheets after the progress we made in testing last week. 

"We experienced the usual Friday conditions in the morning session with low grip causing a problem whilst the circuit was cleaning up.  This afternoon we've been able to do more work with the tyres and set-up.  We completed some reasonably good long runs but we still have some work to do to ensure we are able to get the most out of the new package in qualifying tomorrow."

Sato, who could not match Button's time after hitting traffic on his quick laps, was equally delighted with the new-found pace being delivered by the BAR 007.

"It was a very good day for the team," said the Japanese driver. "We were competitive straight away and the car performed well, showing that our form has continued from our last two tests. It seems to me that we are back on the pace, which is a really good sign and we did not have any problems.

"I was caught in traffic a few times as it was a busy on the circuit today, but other than that the car was working well and we will work on the set up for the longer runs for the race on Sunday."

Technical director Geoff Willis added: " We are very pleased with today's running which has very much gone to plan. Both drivers have been competitive throughout, with Jenson fastest for much of the session. 

"The car, with its latest developments, is performing as well as we expected from our tests during the last two weeks. We now have some work to do this evening to make our tyre selection and we look forward to another good day tomorrow."

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