The Brawn Mercedes drivers topped the times in all three qualifying sessions with Barrichello going quickest at the end of Q1 on the soft option tyre and Button posting the fastest lap of Q2 on his first set of options having used the harder prime tyre for his previous runs. Both drivers completed two runs in Q3 with Button coming out on top to secure his second pole of the season, but Barrichello who qualified in 4th takes a five-place grid penalty after a gearbox change.
Jenson Button“Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It’s not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it’s a first for me in my Formula One career. It’s a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It’s a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities.”
Rubens Barrichello“It was a good qualifying session for the team today and well done to Jenson once again as he had the pace to put the car on pole. Unfortunately on my side of the garage, the car developed understeer in qualifying and we were not able to resolve the problem. However we know the performance of the car in race conditions is strong and I will be aiming to score as many points as possible tomorrow before I can start chasing for my own pole position and wins.”
Ross Brawn“It was a great qualifying performance from Jenson and the team today particularly as we had some issues with the balance of the car in yesterday’s practice sessions. At the start of qualifying, there was a distinct possibility of rain so we went out early in Q1 to bank some dry running and from there it was a busy session with the track evolving incredibly quickly. Rubens was struggling for grip under braking which resulted in understeer and he was never completely happy with the balance of his car."