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Q&A with McLaren’s Jenson Button 23 Oct 2010

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010

Although he started the Korean race weekend as a hot favourite, McLaren’s Jenson Button only managed P7 on the Yeongam grid after a disappointing qualifying session. While such a low starting position has dented his championship hopes, Button is optimistic of making first-lap gains on Sunday…

Q: Jenson, P7 in practice this morning and P7 in qualifying. You can’t be too happy. What happened?
Jenson Button:
Actually I was very happy with the car. This afternoon I couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature and struggled a bit with locking fronts and rears. I didn’t have enough grip and couldn’t find enough pace. It’s a bit disappointing that I’m so far down the grid, but Lewis was a lot quicker than me and is still only in P4, so there will be a lot of head scratching this evening and tomorrow morning. The only good thing is that I’m on the clean side and there are a couple of long straights after the start, so be prepared for a fun first lap!

Q: How does that qualifying translate for tomorrow from your point of view?
JB:
I haven’t got a clue!

Q: It has been predicted that tyres will be a key factor for everyone…
JB:
That is dependent on what the weather is like. If it stays as cold as it is it will be tricky to get heat into the tyres, especially the front tyres when you have got so much fuel onboard. And there is a chance of rain so it will be a tough race. It’s all up in the air a bit because we don’t have any data whatsoever, that we could turn to. It will be very easy tomorrow to make or break your race on the first lap. I will focus on a good start and make good some places up.

Q: You need to score points to stay in the championship fight…
JB:
Yes, it is. The Red Bulls are on the front row! They have been surprisingly quick here - quicker than we thought. I thought that we had a very strong package and maybe tomorrow we will do! It is just seems that in the conditions today we’ve suffered a little bit. On Friday we were strong all day and even this morning it looked much better. Then in qualifying there wasn’t the pace. At this stage of the championship, starting from P7 is not ideal, but we have always shown that we can do better in the race. So let’s wait and see.

Q: Are you hoping for rain?
JB:
Why not. But even in the dry there are a lot of opportunities for me to have a good race. I am not too disappointed; it is just that I thought we would be a little better in qualifying.

Q: Could the F-Duct be your secret weapon for the race?
JB:
Ha, everybody has taken a lot of wing off for the straights because we were very fast yesterday. This qualifying was very strange in terms of pace.

Q: But you haven’t given up on the championship yet?
JB:
Of course not, but it has become a bit more difficult having both Red Bulls on the front row, as they are the people we need to try to take points off and that doesn’t look possible at the moment. Alonso has a quick car on the straight and so does Lewis and we know that the Red Bulls are lacking straight-line speed, so it will be interesting to see what happens on the first lap - and sometimes even from P7 you can end up at the front!

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