Desert heat makes Brawn hard to beat says Button

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The Independent Online

The desert heat will make Brawn GP hard to beat in Bahrain on Sunday after losing out to Red Bull in a wet Chinese race last weekend, Formula One championship leader Jenson Button said today.

Button, winner of the first two races of the season in Australia and Malaysia, struggled to get heat into his tyres in Shanghai and finished third behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

However the Briton is favourite to return to the top of the podium in Sakhir where dust storms are more of a danger than downpours.

"It's going to be very hot, very different to most circuits and the tyre temperatures are going to be high," Button told reporters.

"What we suffered in China with the tyre temperatures, hopefully we will have the opposite here."

Button said Toyota and Red Bull looked like being the biggest threat.

"Those are the two teams we'll be looking out for most," he said. "Flavio (Briatore) says Renault are going to be up there as well ... they might be, I don't know," he added with a hint of sarcasm.

Renault boss Briatore likened the Briton to a concrete bollard at the previous race in China, a barb the driver laughed off at the time.

BMW-Sauber, champions Ferrari and Toyota all tested pre-season in Bahrain but Button said that would not be as much of an advantage to those teams as they might hope.

"We (Brawn's predecessors Honda) tested here in 2006 before the season and we got here and it was completely different when we drove out on the circuit," he said. "We were two seconds slower than at the test."

While some teams are rushing to upgrade their cars after Brawn's controversial rear diffuser was judged legal at an appeal hearing in Paris, Button has nothing new for Sunday.

However he was confident Brawn still had a sufficient advantage.

"If we want to stay at the front we need to get the maximum out of the car, we can't have any slip-ups," he said. "I don't think we will, I think we will get the best out of it and hopefully have a good weekend."

Button said he was still revelling in the extraordinary turnaround in his fortunes after two years of struggling to score points in an under-performing Honda before that constructor pulled out in December.

"It's still a high, knowing you've got a good car and can put it at the front and you've got a chance of winning the race, you are always on a high," he said.

"Every time I wake up in the morning I'm happy."