Jenson Button admits that while Brawn's win was dominant, other teams may come back at them

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    Jenson Button admits that while Brawn's win was dominant, other teams may come back at them

    Post by Ross on 30th March 2009, 07:40

    Button expecting fightback from rivals

    Jenson Button is not expecting Brawn GP to run away with the 2009 world championship and says the team is braced for a response from its rivals.

    The phoenix-like Brackley squad proved its remarkable late pre-season surge was reflective of its BGP 001’s car’s true performance at the first race, with Button leading a 1-2 for the team in both qualifying and the grand prix in Melbourne.

    Meanwhile, established front-runners Ferrari, McLaren, BMW and Renault all experienced difficult starts with their respective all-new 2009 cars and failed to challenge the Brawn cars all weekend.

    Early championship leader Button, however, is not getting carried away by the team’s early advantage and expects that in addition to facing a continued challenge from team-mate Rubens Barrichello, other teams will also soon muscle in at the front.

    “I hope that we are quick all season and I hope that we have an advantage all season, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case,” the Englishman said.

    “I think that you’re right, that we’re both [himself and Barrichello] going to be very competitive and pushing each other very hard if you look at the last few years that we’ve been team-mates.

    “But I have a feeling that other teams are going to be on us very quickly, and when we get to a different type of circuit, maybe in Malaysia, some other cars which weren’t so competitive here will be.”

    After comfortably locking out the front row in Australia, the Brawn cars were widely tipped to totally dominate the 58-lap race.

    However, Button was kept within striking distance for most of the afternoon by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel until the young German tangled with BMW’s Robert Kubica late on.

    Button admits he hadn’t been expecting RBR to show the level of speed it did.

    “Vettel’s pace surprised me a little bit,” he said.

    “I didn’t think they were quite as quick as they were today when we watched them in practice but their pace seemed to be good.”

    Nevertheless he added that with Brawn finishing 1-2 – the first team to do so on its race debut since the Mercedes-Benz works squad in 1954 – it should have the tools to maintain a challenge at the front.

    “It’s not a walkaway victory for sure, and it’s never going to be easy for us over the next few races, but you’re right that we will be competitive together and we’re both in the same position here with a good car, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be fighting at the front,” he said.

    Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, whose team endured a miserable opening weekend, expressed fears that Brawn would dominate the year, describing the team as "in another planet".

    Asked when Ferrari might catch up, he replied: "I don't know if it will be possible.

    "When you are three-tenths behind it is always possible, but when you are one second behind, or eight- or nine-tenths...quite difficult."


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