Jenson Button was fastest today in Friday second practice, his time a good six tenths inside last year’s pole time. He finished second here in 2004 behind team mate Rubens Barrichello, who was in a Ferrari at the time. Both men love this track and are strong here so it should be the best battle between them to date.
He has been attacked this weekend by his former boss Flavio Briatore as a ‘kerbstone’ -an odd use of a word, but I think what Flavio meant is one of those big old heavy milestones or bollards at the side of the road. Either way it was meant to suggest that Button isn’t one of the greats in current F1 and that him winning everything damages the credibility of the sport. It was pretty insulting. Jenson had had a chance to weigh up Flavio’s words and this is his response. Note that he makes reference to Briatore having tried to hire him for this year, presumably in place of Piquet…
WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF BRIATORE’S COMMENTS THAT HAVING A TEAM LIKE BRAWN AT THE FRONT OF F1 IS DAMAGING FOR THE SPORT’S CREDIBILITY?
“Unless he is at the front of F1, I am sure [he thinks] any team [being
there] hurts the credibility of F1. He also needs to remember that he
tried to employ me for this year, so…”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IN RESPONSE?
“He is obviously a very angry man after the diffuser issues and he is
obviously very disappointed that they haven’t produced a car that is
as competitive as ours. We have produced a very competitive car
because of the workforce we have back at Brackely and you cannot take
it away from them – it is very unfair to say that. They have worked
very, very hard in very difficult circumstances and it is very, very
unfair for Flavio to comment as he has just because he is a little bit
bitter – he should also not forget he tried to employ me for this
WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE OF THE TEAM?
HOW BIG A RELIEF FOR YOU WAS THE DIFFUSER DECISION?
“I don’t know if relief is the right word, but it is nice that is
behind us now and we can concentrate on the rest of the season. That
is the result that we expected. It is not our fault we have built a
good car, and when a regulation changes I think things change in F1.
We have seen changed. Some people might not be that happy about it,
but instead of getting angry and putting their views out there, they
need to concentrate on improving and catching us up.”
WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATION FOR THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?
“I am looking forward to it. It is a circuit I’ve enjoyed in the past
and I’ve had some reasonably good results here in the past, even with
a difficult car. I am looking forward to it and it is quite a similar
circuit to Sepang, our tyre compounds are also reasonably difficult to
work with, the softer of the two is graining, so we are going to have
to work hard to stop that graining, and again the tyres are going to
be very important this weekend and getting them working in the correct
ARE YOU WORRIED THAT THE LEGALITY ISSUE WILL CLOUD THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
“No. We had legal issues last year and the year before we had legal
issues with other teams. It is not a problem because if parts on our
car were illegal it would be an issue, but they are not. They are
legal, it is just other teams have questioned the legality of our
parts and the court has said they are legal. Nothing matters except we
have got the performance and other people don’t seem to have it at the