Jenson Button thinks his Brawn GP team will have no problems with tire temperature at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, after some encouraging feedback from the first day of practice.
The World Championship leader spent Friday's dry running focusing on evaluation of car set-up and new aerodynamic parts that the team hopes will help it cure the tire warm-up issues that hurt its form in recent races. Although Button ended the day 17th overall on the timesheets, he was encouraged by the fact that the tire heating issues have not returned -- even though he admits the team has much work to do on its single-lap pace.
"We definitely don't have a tire temperature issue here," said Button. "We are actually quite warm here. It's quite an abrasive asphalt, so we don't have any issues. This morning was a little bit frustrating with the conditions, but it was good to get some wet running. The car is looking pretty good in the wet, which I'm happy about.
"This afternoon was mostly being set-up work and comparison work with certain things we have brought here that are new. And everything ran okay, although I'm not 100 percent happy with the car at the moment, but I think - I hope -- there are things we can solve tomorrow. But as I said we don't have the temperature issues we had earlier this year."
With likely strategy complications to come from the competitiveness of KERS-equipped cars, Button is well aware that getting a good qualifying position will be vital to scoring decent points on Sunday. That is why he will focus his efforts on Saturday morning on improving the single-lap pace of his car.
"Looking at today our long-run pace is reasonably competitive, but we still have to work on our qualifying pace because compared to the quick cars we're not that strong over one lap," he said. "That is an area we need to work on."
He added: "The Red Bulls are going to be quick. This is the perfect circuit for a Red Bull car, so we have to hope we can be as close as possible and maybe have the chance of nibbling some more points off them."