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Button bites back at 'bitter' Briatore as Brawn GP roars in practice again

FORMULA One championship leader Jenson Button hit back at a jibe from Flavio Briatore about his driving, saying the Renault boss had tried to hire him for this season.

Briatore told Italian media the decision to declare legal the rear diffuser used by Button's Brawn GP car had as good as decided the title, adding that the Briton was "as quick as a milestone."

"It hurts the credibility of Formula One. He also needs to remember that he tried to employ me for this year." the 29-year-old Button, who has won the first two races of the season, said in Shanghai yesterday.

"He's obviously a very angry man after the diffuser issues, he's obviously very disappointed that he hasn't produced a car that's as competitive as ours.

"We've produced a very competitive car because of the workforce we've got... and you can't take that away from them."

Briatore said making up the technical gap with the teams with diffusers was "impossible" and also suggested the credibility of the sport would suffer.

"It's unfair to say that, (the team) worked very, very hard in difficult circumstances," added Button, who set the quickest time in yesterday's two practice sessions.

"It's very unfair for Flavio to have commented as he has just because he's a little bit bitter.

"When regulations change, Formula One changes and people are getting angry and putting their views out there when they should be concentrating on catching us up."

The Briton showed the pace of his Brawn GP car with a storming lap of one minute, 35.679 seconds late in the second session.

German Nico Rosberg also left it late before posting a time of 1.35.704 for Williams to edge Brazilian and Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello (1.35.881) and deny Brawn GP the top two times of the day.

"The major thing for us at the moment is that this season we have consistency from one track to another," said Rosberg, who has looked quick in practice but had disappointing race results so far this season.

"We're now going to a race and not getting any big surprises as we seem to have learned from our mistakes from last year."

World champion Lewis Hamilton had put his McLaren team's troubles behind him by setting the quickest time in first practice but faded in the second session. The 24-year-old Briton, whose title defense has been marred by struggles on the track and controversy off it, finished 13th fastest in the quicker afternoon session at the track where he claimed his last win in the penultimate race of the 2008 season.


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