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Button fastest on day one in China.

Jenson Button ensured that a familiar name appeared at the head of the day one timesheets at the Chinese Grand Prix, slipping in the fastest lap of second free practice as the diffuser teams returned to the fore.

Having had to play second fiddle to resurgent world champion Lewis Hamilton in the morning session at Shanghai International Circuit, Button posted a 1min 35.679secs effort the headed a Brawn GP 1-3 and sandwiched regular practice pacesetter Nico Rosberg, as the German and Rubens Barrichello proved to be the only other drivers capable of dropping into the 1min 35s. Rosberg came close to repeating his feats from Melbourne and Malaysia too, coming up just 0.026secs shy of toppling Button and claiming another P1 for Williams.

On this occasion, Toyota proved unable to run with the two other diffuser teams, and were denied a spot in the top five overall as the two Red Bull-Renaults of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel again proved to be the best of those teams now having to consider revising their cars for future races. Webber was just a tenth from breaking the 1min 36secs barrier, while Vettel lapped only fractionally slower. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock took sixth and eighth for Toyota, sandwiching the second Williams of Kazuki Nakajima, which vaulted up the order after running only 19th in FP1.

Hamilton, meanwhile, dropped back to 13th fastest, despite improving his time - as everyone did in the second session - and trailed McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who only got his hands on the team's latest front wing design in FP2. The Finn did not apparently get to run the revised 'halfway house' rear diffuser that Hamilton trialled during the day, but still ended up four places and three tenths ahead of the world champion.

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais again rounded out the top ten, with Adrian Sutil and Felipe Massa filling the gap back to Hamilton. Massa may not take much comfort from twelfth spot, but will no doubt feel happier about being closer to his 2008 title rival. The Brazilian, running without KERS this weekend, was a full 1.1secs off Button's pace, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was a further couple of tenths adrift in 14th.

Neither Renault or BMW Sauber enjoyed a good day on paper, with Nelson Piquet Jr and Fernando Alonso book-ending Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld in 17th and 18th respectively, while Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella brought up the rear after spending much of the session, like team-mate Adrian Sutil, apparently running or spinning off track. Raikkonen and Alonso were also notable casualties, although none of the day's offs led to time spent in the garage.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn BGP001, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th, April 2009
26.03.2017 - (L-R) Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Ross Brawn (GBR) Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports
26.03.2017 - Ross Brawn (GBR) Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nicole Kidman (AUS) Actress
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Atmosphere
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, McLaren MCL32, detail
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sauber C36, steering wheel
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director

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April 17, 2009 12:56 PM

xHondabutnowBrawnGPfan - the Red Bull has pull rod rear suspension mounted low down so any new diffuser is not going to fit. And as you say it is going to take a major redesign to incorporate a new diffuser, that might not even work. Either way their current solution is the best non-diffuser design because of the different rear setup. Take that away and they will not jump further forward. It might even be suggested to not bother with the new diffuser and work on the current setup and make that work better.

xHondabutnowBrawnGPfan - Unregistered

April 17, 2009 1:04 PM

@DBL Thanks for that, I thought I was somewhere near to correct in my understanding. I also agree that it seems that it might be better to exploit and develop an already great rear end design rather than waste time and money developing the split level Diff at some risk (I might have a different opinion if they could spend more time testing in season). Have you seen the comments from Bridgestone after today's practise concerning the Brawn & Toyota's use of the option tyre :?

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