Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello
put his Brawn-Mercedes car on the second row today with a strong qualifying effort securing him third place on the grid. Team-mate Jenson Button
completed the team's strong showing with his fifth place.
Rubens and Jenson started the qualifying
hour on the Bridgestone Potenza soft compound tyre before switching to the super soft option for their final run which saw Jenson post the fastest time of Q1. Progress through Q2 was equally assured for both drivers with Rubens posting the fastest lap of qualifying at the end of the second session.
The Brawn GP pair followed different strategies in Q3 with Jenson opting for just one flying lap on his final run which gave him fifth position. Rubens went for two laps with the initial lap proving the quicker and good enough for third place on the grid. Rubens Barrichello
"A great qualifying today but it was tough out there and of course I'm a little bit disappointed not to be on pole. We started the weekend well with a thorough job on Friday to get the best out of the set-ups that the guys worked on back at the factory. They did a great job and the car is in good shape with the tyres working quite well here in the heat. I went for a slightly different strategy to Jenson with just one new tyre run over two laps in Q3. The second lap was perhaps a bit too much for the tyres which started overheating and unfortunately I lost the car on turn eight. I'm really pleased with third place though and it's great to have the car back to a competitive pace." Jenson Button
"It was a pretty good qualifying session for the team today and the car felt strong throughout. Unfortunately I made a mistake at turn four on my quick lap which compromised my position as I had just the one flying lap on my final run in Q3. It's a shame as the potential was there for more but fifth on the grid is not bad at all. The car is feeling pretty good with fuel so we will see what the race will bring tomorrow. It's not a great circuit for overtaking but I'll be giving it everything for a good result."
"It was a tricky session today with track temperatures escalating fast which meant we had to think on our feet and adapt our plan for Q3 during the break. This might have compromised our performance a little as Rubens' tyres went off on his second lap whilst Jenson had only the one flying lap on his final run. However third and fifth places on the grid is a strong position to be starting from tomorrow and we are generally happy with the performance of the car this weekend so we can look forward to a good race. It was another good day for our engine partner Mercedes-Benz with three cars in the top three grid positions."