British GP - Brawn Mercedes - Preview
Seven races into the season, the Brawn GP team continues to impress as it exceeds the wildest expectations of many observers. The team formerly known as Honda has recorded six victories so far, dropping only one to the Red Bull outfit
Heading into the British round of the championship, Jenson Button
is the man to beat this weekend at Silverstone. Aboard the other Brawn BGP 001, although he has had a fair share of bad luck at times, Rubens Barrichello
remains just as motivated as ever to finish ahead of his teammate.
Having stood on the podium at the conclusion of each Grand Prix held so far, Button particularly wishes to repeat the experience this weekend: not only to claim a possible first win in front of his home crowd, but also to savour the last Formula One victory podium presented at the famous, historic, and much-loved Silverstone circuit before the series eventually moves to Donington Park.
However, nothing is a given in racing and the Brawn team continues to work hard to ensure that the top spots in both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships remain theirs.Jenson Button
, Rubens Barrichello
and Team Principal Ross Brawn share thir memories of the Silverstone venue as well as their expectations ahead of Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's final F1 race at Silverstone.
"The British Grand Prix is always an amazing weekend and I can't wait to race at Silverstone in front of our home fans on Sunday. To be leading the Championship going into my home Grand Prix is something that I've never experienced before and it puts a smile on my face every time I think about it," said Jenson Button
. "I've raced at Silverstone from some fairly tough positions in the past but the fans have always been so supportive and I'd love to give them a performance that they can really enjoy this weekend."
Getting down to the complicated business of winning races, the Briton added: "We took a good step forward with the balance of our car in Turkey but know that our closest competitors are going to be good in the high-speed corners so it will be an interesting weekend. If we come away with a good result, I'll be so happy on Sunday!"
"The layout of Silverstone makes it one of the classic racing circuits and along with Suzuka and Spa, it has to be one of the best tracks out there. Every driver who races here loves the place as it's so fast and you can really push the car to its limits. It's a great circuit for the fans as you can see just how amazing the cars are from the speed, the change of the direction and the braking.
I particularly love the section of the track around Becketts which is one of the best complexes in Formula One and a great place to watch the race," Button observed.
"I have so many memories of Silverstone going right back to Mansell's win in 1987 and my first Formula One race there in 2000 when David Coulthard won and I finished fifth. It's strange to think that this might be our last race at Silverstone and I can't imagine not having a British Grand Prix so we'll be going all out to put on a fantastic show," the championship leader promised.Rubens Barrichello
is a veteran of the Silverstone circuit, with hundreds of laps of experience to his benefit.
"Silverstone is one of my all-time favourite circuits and I absolutely love racing there," the Brazilian began. "The track is fantastic as it is one of the few remaining on the calendar that are high-speed, fast-flowing and really allow you to let the car go through the quick corners. It is also a very safe track and that's important from a driver's perspective. Becketts is probably the most impressive corner with a 290kph bend which leads into a challenging complex. Overtaking can be pretty spectacular if you get it right in one of the high-speed sections although the best opportunities are probably the slower corners at Vale and Abbey."
"I have some amazing memories from Silverstone over the years and it feels really sad that this might be the last time that we race there," Barrichello contemplated. "I spent so much time testing and racing at the circuit when I was younger that it almost feels like a home track and the crowds are always supportive, even if you aren't British!"
Unlike Button, Barrichello has already tasted victory at Silverstone, a feat which dates back to his Ferrari days. As a Brawn GP racer he intends to add his name to the winner's list once more before the British Grand Prix moves elsewhere.
"My win here in 2003 was really special and it's fantastic to be returning this year with a car that has the potential to compete for the victory," he said. "There's a lot of expectation going into the weekend as our team's home Grand Prix but we will remain calm and just focus on doing the best job that we possibly can," Barrichello concluded.