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Australian GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
28/03/2009

Jenson, on pole for the first time since Melbourne in 2006. Everyone was tipping you to be on pole or the front row, I guess it was easy.
Jenson Button: I wish. The last five or six months for both of us have been so tough because of going from not having a drive or any future in racing to putting it on pole here is just amazing, it really is and I have got to give all credit to the team and Ross (Brawn) and Nick (Fry) for making this happen. This is where we deserve to be after the tough times we have had.

What were your thoughts when you came into qualifying as obviously you had been quick but other cars had been close?
JB: This morning the pace seemed to be pretty good on both tyres and I was reasonably happy. We didn’t know what other people’s pace was and you don’t until you get to qualifying. They seemed to be a little bit closer than I thought actually in Q1 and Q2, they were one or two tenths behind but I was struggling on low fuel for some reason. I just could not get the car working right, but when we put fuel in it, it felt a bit more normal and in a way that is a good thing as it should help us out in the race.

And as a race driver with the year you have had, you come here with a car this competitive. Talk about that transformation and the lap you drove.
JB: It has been a long time since we had a car that has been competitive. It is 2006 since I put it on pole here. It has been very tough and there are a lot of people who stand by you which is fantastic, but there are obviously a few people that don’t and they forget and they don’t believe. The important thing is that the people within team believe and that is all we care about. We have proven it with this car and I think both of us have done a good job this weekend so far considering the amount of mileage we have had in the car so far. You can say it is a very good car but you still need to get the laps in and make it your own. This is a great moment, but obviously not the most important moment of the weekend but it is a good start.

Rubens, fastest lap of qualifying in Q2. Talk us through Q3 and that battle with your team-mate?
Rubens Barrichello: First of all, I just want to emphasis what Jenson said that it has been a critical three or four months back home waiting for news. I am really happy to be here and I need to congratulate Ross and Nick for doing an outstanding job and everyone who has touched this car needs a credit because it is a really good car, so well done to the boys back in England as well. My car was fantastic on low fuel, it was really, really good and as you could see I put that fastest lap but then in Q3 for some reason I developed some understeer on the car and we tried to move the wings a little bit more to add a little bit more front wing but that car kept going to understeer, so I was very limited but it was difficult although I think the first row for both is a credit and we must be happy.

Sebastian, a difficult day yesterday but a great recovery for you?
Sebastian Vettel: Difficult two days up until qualifying. Yesterday I only had the pleasure of one lap in first practice and then in the second one I did a mistake and then unfortunately we could not run through our programme and also this morning we had a failure which cost us some track time so anything but ideal but nevertheless I think we put everything together. We were looking very deeply in the data and trying to prepare qualifying. I think we succeeded, so thanks to everyone as it has been a tough winter. We had some more time than you guys on the track but still you see it is not easy, so I am surprised how close actually the feeling in the car is with all the regulation changes coming here and having last year in mind, so it is pretty impressive what all the people have done. It looks very, very tight not just in the front but also throughout the whole of the midfield and at some points we were fearing not to make it to Q2. Now we are in third, second row, so I am looking forward to tomorrow. This is for sure a good starting point but points we will only get tomorrow, so we have to work hard.

Jenson, shadows and light are going to be an issue tomorrow. Describe that from a driver’s point of view and being the first team to be on pole since 1970.
JB: It is difficult here with the shade and the low sun because it is not a normal circuit, it is in a park, so you have got a lot of trees here and the sun shining through the trees makes it very difficult as Sebastian will tell you from yesterday. Turn three was very difficult.

SV: You can put on some lights as you are fast enough.

JB: It is tough, but it is obviously easier form the front than it is from the back. Regards to what it is for the team to be here on the front row. It is fantastic and it is very difficult to know the words to use really. The team as a unit have been fantastic, they have really stuck together over the tough winter, better than I have, but they have proven that they have stuck together. They have produced a car that is good at the moment but I am sure we can make it a lot better. As we have both said, we will keep going on about, it is well deserved and all credit to the team. There will be a lot of happy faces but not just in the team, I think. A lot of people have travelled this journey with us, so it is good to be here.

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