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Jenson Button Q&A: Upgrades critical for final push 14 Oct 2010

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 and Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010

Although fourth was the best he could manage at the Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren’s Jenson Button couldn’t find much at fault with his car and was pleased he came within a hair’s breadth of claiming the fastest lap of the race. But if the British team are to maximise their performance over the last three rounds, Button knows he needs the MP4-25’s recent upgrades to work to their full potential, as he explains in an interview with his official website…

Q: Was fourth place a realistic reflection of your Japanese Grand Prix weekend?
Jenson Button:
It probably was yeah, for better or for worse. I think I could have extracted a bit more from the car if I'd been fuelled for just a single lap in Q3. I can understand why the team felt it was wiser to fuel for two laps, but my first run was good enough, and, with the fuel I could have saved, I would have been ahead of Robert Kubica and in a better position to challenge Fernando. If we'd switched to the option when the others were making their switch to the prime, then we'd probably also have had a better race. But, as you say, that’s hypothetical, and I don't think we could have achieved anything higher than third without a little bit of luck on our side. I'm pleased that our race pace was good, but we need to make sure, for Korea, that we've got all the upgrades working on our car if we’re going to fight for the victory.

Q: You only lost out to fastest lap on the very final lap, and even then only by half a tenth, is that an encouraging pointer for the final three races?
JB:
It is. I know I was running fresher options while everyone was on the prime, which is a factor, but nonetheless, you race with what you’re got, and we were able to make the car work extremely well throughout the last part of the race. As I said, if we'd got everything right in qualifying then things would probably have been a little better for the race. But the car felt great to drive, you could take it to the limit, lean on it, and it would stay planted. And that's encouraging for where we want to be in the final three races, where I believe we’ll be more of a challenge at the front.

Q: Are you feeling confident despite seeing the points gap to the leader extend further?
JB:
It’s all relative. At this time of the season, if you're ahead on points then you can’t do anything risky, but if you're behind, then you've got more confidence to be aggressive, because you've got less to lose. For me, it's a very different situation compared to where I was last year, and I'm actually looking forward to taking the fight to the leaders, because I've got nothing to lose by doing that. If it doesn't come off, at least I'll know that I'll have given it everything. And luck has a habit of going in cycles - our team hasn't had the greatest of fortunes recently, so who knows what'll happen at the next race? It could all turn around.

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