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The Honda Racing F1 Team drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello concluded a frustrating first day of running in Malaysia today in 15th and 21st positions respectively.
Last week's test at the Sepang circuit had seen a small but marked improvement over the team's performance in Australia three weeks ago, but the team has so far struggled to translate that progress to the race weekend conditions here.
Jenson Button: "Well, a tough day really trying to find a balance. Initially the circuit was very dusty but as the track improved through the day we were able to work on the car more. The fact remains however that we are still a long way from where we want to be."
Rubens Barrichello: "It's simply the case that we have had a very bad day. To end the day where I am is obviously extremely frustrating. We were not able to improve the braking stability issues that we have, so all I can say is that we need to look at what we have learned today and try to find a solution that can get us back to where we were during the test last week." Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "Following a reasonably positive test here last week, which saw some improvement in car performance, we were obviously hoping to carry that progress through into the race weekend. We have experienced very different track conditions today compared with those we saw at the test and this has made it difficult to achieve a good balance. At the close of the session we had made some progress with Jenson's car, however with Rubens' car we have a specific problem which we have not yet solved and that is something we will be looking into immediately."
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