The new Brawn GP team enjoyed a solid first day of running after Jenson Button posted the fourth quickest time on the opening day of the four-day Formula One group test in Barcelona.
Following a brief shakedown of the new Mercedes-powered BGP001 at Silverstone last week, the test marked the first chance for the team to put any meaningful mileage on the car - with only seven days of testing available before the 2009 season kicks off in Melbourne at the end of the month.
With the team looking to strike a balance between improving the reliability and the performance of the car, Button worked through a programme that included set-up of the new machine while the Briton also carried out tyre evaluation work with the Bridgestone slick rubber.
Button will hand the BGP001 over to Rubens Barrichello on Tuesday to give the Brazilian his first taste of the car, with the pair set to share on-track running over the course of the week.
“It has been a good first day in the BGP001 with our new team, Brawn GP,” Button said after completing more than 80 laps of the Spanish circuit. “I'd like to start by thanking everyone at the team for all the hard work that has contributed to getting us here today. We have enjoyed a positive opening day of running at our first test and achieved a total of 82 laps, which we are all very pleased with.
“We did experience a problem with the gearbox late in the day but we knew we might face some reliability issues in view of our lack of testing. Fortunately, it's a minor problem that is easily addressed. It's early days yet but generally it has been a positive start to our pre-season preparations.”