Brawn GP Pt2

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

MH When the Honda decision came and the team was facing oblivion, was it a big decision to stay? You could have left.
JB Yes. I could’ve gone to Toro Rosso but that wasn’t really an option. I still had things to prove. I’d only won one race [Hungary 2006]. Also I wasn’t young any more so I wasn’t going to get to Red Bull from Toro Rosso. So Brawn – or whatever it was going to be called – had to be good.

It seems amazing that Honda had that car just at that time.
Well, they’d spent all their money just on that car. The 2008 car they didn’t develop at all. It was a tough year for the whole team in 2008 because we knew going in we weren’t going to be developing that car because everything was going into the new regulations for ’09. They put everything into it.

Button secured the 2009 world title having won six of the opening seven races, but only managed two more podium finishes over the final 10 grands prix

Including the double diffuser?
It was a Japanese guy who found the double diffuser loophole. He wasn’t the only one obviously, because it was on the Williams and Toyota, too. But the great thing was, everyone was so distracted by the double diffuser they didn’t see the whole, which was the reason it really worked. They were blinded by the double diffuser.

What do you remember about your first test in Barcelona?
The problem was we didn’t really know how quick it was. We had all our simulations of what the car should do and we looked at the first test – which we weren’t at, we missed it. We hadn’t even shaken down the car yet. And when we saw the lap times from that first test we thought ‘Oh no, we’ve got our simulation wrong because it’s saying we’d be 1.5sec faster than that’. Then we turned up in Barcelona and on the first run were 0.6sec quicker than anyone. I came in and said ‘Guys, the balance isn’t there, we need to do this for the fast corners and this for the slow’ – and Shov [Andrew Shovlin] stuck his head in the cockpit and said, ‘Mate, you’re 0.6sec clear of anyone else.’ Oh s**t. We worked with the balance and I think we ended up 1.2sec quicker than anyone. So we put fuel in it for the rest of the winter!

The first time I actually drove it was on the Silverstone school circuit and what stood out wasn’t how it felt as you couldn’t get any tyre temp. It was that nothing went wrong. Nothing felt wrong. Which on a brand new car is so rare.

And that just carried on in the first race…
Yes, when we eventually got to the first race, Friday was pretty good – though not as good as we expected – Saturday we blew them out the water in qualifying. The funny thing was, it still wasn’t an easy race. We went for a strategy that worked, but only because Vettel and Kubica took each other out. So it wasn’t going to be an easy win. At none of the races was it ever like what Mercedes has now. But every race it just fell in our laps, the team didn’t make any mistakes, the mechanics were unreal, especially considering we had no practice during the winter, no pit stop practice… nothing.

And you had very little money, too?
Yeah. We had nothing. For Turkey I flew by EasyJet. That was the last win. That was a great race.

I always thought the car suited your style. Did you think that, too?
Yeah, the problem with me was always tyre temperature. At circuits like Silverstone I couldn’t get the tyre temp. All through my career – that’s just the way that I drive. I try to be as smooth as possible. I tried to be aggressive but it didn’t work for me. Circuits like Silverstone, and other tracks like Valencia. It was tricky. Spa, too. There were tracks the tyres just didn’t work on.

What changed across the second half of the season?
I remember at Turkey [where we won] I screamed into the radio ‘What just happened’ I was screaming with happiness. I said: ‘You’ve built me a monster, guys’. The car was fantastic for the first half of the year then all of a sudden we were falling off a cliff.

After Turkey came Silverstone and we couldn’t qualify better than sixth. I just couldn’t get the tyres working.

Also we didn’t develop the car through the year. The problem was that the stuff that goes on the car for race six or seven you’re developing three months before, and we didn’t even know if we were going to be racing at that point. I assumed it was because we had no money, but I spoke to Ross the other day and he said we didn’t partly because we had to save money for 2010, but the bigger issue was building the parts when we weren’t in the tunnel. The car hadn’t even seen the tunnel for three months. You’re never going to be able to compete. So it was lucky we had that initial advantage otherwise we’d have had no chance.

That makes you realise how amazing it was that Ross pulled it out of the bag.
The funny thing was we had a couple of people interested in buying the team. We got to the point where they were ready and we called Ross and didn’t get a reply. Then called again, no reply and we thought ‘hang on, something’s going on here’. It turned out he’d actually purchased the team himself for £1. There was so much emotion through 2009, because we came from a group of people not having a job to winning the title. It was unreal and that continued through the year.

Did you think at any point that you weren’t going to win?
I remember at Singapore [race 14] saying: ‘What are we doing?’. It felt like the opposite of the first seven races. Nothing went right for us. I said on the radio we’re throwing it away. And at Brazil in qualifying we messed up [in the wet]. Ross said the other day to me that with Rubens they got the strategy perfectly right, but with me we didn’t get out at the right time [Button was 14th fastest on wet rubber, when most others timed things right to go for inters]. Vettel copied us so he was even further back, in 16th. It made it a fun, dream way to end of the season. If you were going to make a film about a season of F1, you’d do it like that, from adversity then with the jeopardy right at the end, ‘oh my god is he going to lose!’ [Jenson finished fifth, and in doing so secured the drivers’ and constructors’ titles].

You drove the car again recently; was it how you remembered it?
Jumping back in it felt so normal. I got in the seat and thought I have never had a seat this good… in anything!

I hadn’t driven the car since ’09 and I’ve driven so many cars since, yet it was perfect. My body not moving in the high-speed corners, the throttle movement just as I like it, the brakes, steering. The steering felt quite heavy, but I think that was because it had a wider tyre on it. But you forget how small the cars were then, small but beautiful. And look at the lines of it. I know it has this big nose and the front wing is a bit square and angular, but it’s so nice. It doesn’t look like it’s aged. That [V8] sound good too.

The car you drove is owned by Ross, and is basically one of a kind now…
They told me not to break it. Which is exactly how we had to race it! Don’t touch the kerbs. I came round the last corner flat out and Ross had his head in his hands. He was so worried. There are no more suspension components because the moulds were crushed. And it’s not been stress tested because they can’t put that much stress through it. They said don’t brake hard. The power didn’t take my breath away, just the high-speed grip and the flow of the circuit in that car – and seeing Ross’s face.


DIGITAL EXTRA

You may also like

Related products