Button Surprised by Ferrari's Pace

BAR's Jenson Button said he was surprised by Ferrari's lack of pace as Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello finished 12th and 14th respectively in first qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Button Surprised by Ferrari's Pace

The Briton also said he was impressed with the speed of Toyota's Jarno Trulli, who finished second.

"I was very surprised with Ferrari, the times they did," he said. "They were the only ones I was surprised with, and Toyota as well because I thought they were running low fuel this morning. They obviously did a good time.

"Compared to Williams and McLaren I think we are reasonably strong. Obviously I'm behind them but hopefully I can make up a bit of time tomorrow and maybe a few places. Hopefully we can make up a few places and have a good race."

Button is confident he can move up the grid with a strong performance in second qualifying on Sunday after finishing ninth in the first session.

Button, whose BAR-Honda team finished runners-up in the Championship last year, has struggled to stay on the pace of Renault but he is confident he can fight the other teams in the top ten.

"For second qualifying I have cars close to me front and back which I think is a good thing," said Button. "I think we can gain more places. There are two, probably one that we can gain, that's quite good.

"It's just about working out our strategy because it's very difficult to know what to do now. I think our car works quite well with the tyres, we are better than most teams on the tyres."

BAR have been hit by troubles this weekend. They were forced to replace Takuma Sato with tester Anthony Davidson when the Japanese driver fell ill on Friday night then Button suffered a problem in the Saturday morning practice.

"We had a problem with an oil leak in the first session so the second session we didn't get to run at all," he explained. "We haven't run new tyres today so it wasn't easy in qualifying, basically it was just finding the braking points."

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