Jenson Button Q&A: Red Bull yet to show true pace 28 May 2010
Eight cars on different programmes covered by less than a second - and that on a Friday afternoon. It shows just how competitive Formula One currently is. Jenson Button, fastest in Practice Two, is optimistic about the improvements to his McLaren, but also warns that Red Bull have not shown their full potential around Istanbul Park. At least with no apparent tyre issues - the big question mark at this track - things could develop well for the reigning world champion come Sunday, though
Q: Jenson, it seems today was a very good work day for you. P2 in the morning and P1 in the afternoon
Jenson Button: Yes, in the morning it was good and in the afternoon it felt better. I found a better balance in the afternoon - especially on low fuel the car is working really well, which is nice to see. There is still more to come, which is always the case on a Friday. The long-run pace is good as well, but I found a lot of traffic out there on my long run. I am happy with the car at the moment, even though there are always some things that you want to sort out. All in all I can say that Im reasonable happy.
Q: What did you learn about the tyres for qualifying and the race?
JB: The soft one is quicker, but on the long run I dont really know. This we have to wait and see. As I just said there are still some things that we have to see to get a better balance in the long runs.
Q: For qualifying will it basically be the soft tyres for that one lap to get the time you have in mind?
JB: I dont know. If it is cool tomorrow all might change, so we will have to sit down and discuss all possibilities - especially to see from the data what the difference is between the soft and the hard tyres - and then make our decision. The good news is that both tyres work very well and we dont have any problems with graining or damaging the tyres. That makes hope for tomorrow.
Q: It is nice to be fastest today, but what do you think will make the difference this weekend?
JB: I think that our car works well here and the balance is good. We have some new things on the car and they have proven to work very well with me, but what I fear is that the Red Bulls are much quicker than they show. So it is a normal Friday where it is most important to get as much information as possible about the car. Tomorrow we will see where we stand - you simply dont catch up a second in couple of weeks, so the Red Bull is still the car to beat. We hope that tomorrow we get everything right in qualifying, do the best job we can and hopefully this will be enough.
Q: In Monaco qualifying you had trouble getting the tyres working. Do you fear that this could again be an issue tomorrow?
JB: Well, in Monaco if you have even the slightest problem you lose a lot of time. While Lewis (Hamilton) was in P5 I ended up in P8 just because of a small tyre issue - because the margins in Monaco are so small. Here the tyres work well - both sets of tyres - so I dont expect any problems. What we are aiming for in qualifying - chasing the Red Bulls. We had very good running today in both sessions, but dont get too excited over our pace today. Tomorrow the Red Bulls will show their true pace and then we will see where we will end up.
Q: So do you expect the same scenario that weve seen lately: the Red Bulls - and then the rest of the field?
JB: If you take the last two races you would say so. But we hope for something better. We are positive people and we definitely hope that we can challenge them, but it will be very difficult.