BARCELONA, May 7 – World championship leader Jenson Button will be full of confidence this weekend when he goes into the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix with an upgraded Brawn car.The 29-year-old Briton who has won three of the opening four races of the season is a runaway leader so far in the drivers championship series and is hoping for another great result to press home his early advantage.
"I visited the factory last week to join the team for a small celebration of our successes to date and catch up on the progress with our latest developments," said Button.
"We know that we have a real fight on our hands from here to maintain our lead in the championships, but I am confident that we are well prepared for the challenges ahead."
Button who faced losing his job late last year when the former Honda team closed down is now singing the praises of eponymous team boss Ross Brawn and glowing with pride.
He currently holds a healthy 12-points lead over his team-mate Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello and looks assured of playing a major role, if not winning the title scrap this year.
"It is so difficult to believe and yet it is just true and fantastic," said Button.
"Everyone involved has worked so hard for this and now we have to make the most of it."
This weekend’s update is the first for the Brawn team this season following their dramatic battle against time to arrive on the grid in Australia and then dominate the season-opening race.
Brawn said: "Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 – and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona."
While Brawn looks ahead with relish, his former team Ferrari are keeping their fingers crossed for a much improved performance to dispel their early-season problems.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen said he is eager to start winning again – more than a year after his last victory in the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix.
He dominated last year’s race, but has since endured an 18-races drought.
He said: "It’s a bit more than a year ago that I won my last Formula One race – I had my best weekend with Ferrari: pole position, victory and fastest race lap in Spain.
"Since then I came very close several times, but one reason or another I could never make it."
Ferrari have major upgrades this weekend including a double-decker diffuser and hope for a major improvement in pace.
"I really liked hearing from the team that the new aerodynamic package’s first signs were positive," said Raikkonen.
"Most of the teams have done the same so it will be interesting to see the result."
One of those others hoping for better days will be home hero two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Renault. But he is worried that his car and the team are struggling to find the pace required.