Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Brawn leads the way in F1 testing at Catalunya Circuit

BEAMING BRAZILIAN Rubens Barrichello said the new Brawn car was going to be the ‘surprise of the season’ after posting the fastest time on Thursday

AFP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

Brawn GP have taken their Formula One rivals by surprise with their buoyant showing in testing is Spain this week, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa one of those won over by the new team.

After Jenson Button had posted the quickest time at Barcelona on Wednesday for the former Honda F1 team bought by Ross Brawn it was the turn of Rubens Barrichello to continue the good work on Thursday.

The Brazilian sped round the Catalunya circuit leaving the likes of Massa and world champion Lewis Hamilton in his wake, posting a fastest time of 1min 18.926 seconds in a 110-lap session for the new Formula One outfit.

Barrichello was almost one second faster than Nico Rosberg in a Williams with Hamilton’s McLaren almost two seconds slower.

Massa, who clocked a best time of 1:20.677, has been impressed with the speed of the new Brawn.

“This Brawn has surprised everyone,” he said.

“Before Barcelona we [Ferrari] were one of the quickest on the circuit, we were very competitive, in the leading pack. Now we’re competitive, but behind Brawn,” he said.

“No one can do the same times [as Brawn]. Everyone was using less fuel, not only them. But their times were much faster than those that anyone else could do,” Massa said.

Barrichello, echoing Massa’s positive assessment, suggested the Brawn car was going to be “the surprise of the season”.

“I’ve waited for this moment for a long time,” he said.

“I was worried in Brazil [where he spent the winter] that I wouldn’t be able to use my skill in a good car ... but I’m very pleased to be able to say that this year will be a happy one,” Barrichello said.

“I don’t want to say that we’re made for the year, but it’s a very good start,” he said. “We’ve got a good car, a good engine, a good team. I think we’re going to be the surprise of the season!”

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