The Brawn GP team began its preparations for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Round Four of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir today.
In very hot weather conditions with ambient temperatures reaching 37°C andtrack temperatures peaking at 57°C, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello successfully completed their Friday testing programmes in the two Brawn-Mercedes cars. The pair completed 98 laps of the 5.412km circuit, with the majority of today's running taking place in the afternoon session as the track improved.Jenson and Rubens focused on the set-up of their BGP 001 cars alongside a comprehensive evaluation of the two tyre compounds provided by Bridgestone for this race.
"A pretty standard programme for us today on what has been a very hot Friday in Bahrain. We have successfully completed our scheduled test items andevaluated a number of set-up options to find the best balance for our cararound this track. The heat is intense however we are well prepared for this and looking forward to the novelty of a dry race weekend. The pace looksgood from our initial evaluations and I am sure it will be a closely fought battle in qualifying tomorrow."
We had different set-ups running on both cars today to gather as much information as possible and compensate for our lack of testing before the season began. It's very hot here in Bahrain obviously and it was quitedifficult to find a good balance today but overall I am comfortable with the work that we have achieved. We are running quite competitively but have further work to do before qualifying tomorrow as other cars around us were also quick."
"Whilst the super soft and medium tyre compounds that we are using for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend are familiar to us, the unique conditions found at this circuit mean that they are working in a very different range. The track is always very dusty at the start of each session and the track temperatures today are by far the highest that we have experienced this year. We have therefore focused our efforts on understanding the behaviourof the tyres and are happy with the progress made through the two practice sessions. The intense heat here ensures that on-car temperatures are closely monitored and although we do not have any concerns, it will be a challenging weekend for the drivers."