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Jenson Button Q&A: To win we must eliminate mistakes 28 Aug 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with girlfriend Jessica Michibata (JPN).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 28 August 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 28 August 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren and Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Director on the podium. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 28 August 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 28 August 2011

McLaren’s Jenson Button couldn’t hide his disappointment after qualifying in 13th on Saturday. And after being caught up in several midfield collisions at the start of Sunday’s Belgian race, matters went from bad to worse for the Briton. Button, however, managed to overcome all the obstacles fate threw at him and ultimately enjoyed a stellar ride to third place in the MP4-26. He relives his race…

Q: Jenson, from 13th to third. It was a great afternoon for you, but what a lively start you had…
Jenson Button:
Oh yes, it was quite a mess! (laughs) So looking back, it was not so much ending in P3 but overcoming all the obstacles at the start of the race that is interesting. Immediately into Turn One somebody hit me at the rear - I think it was Sutil - and after Turn One there was mayhem with pit stops happening everywhere. Next thing someone’s front wing went through my front wing, so I told the guys on the radio that I have quite a lot of damage and had to pit immediately. They told me to wait and stay out! So I waited until Lap Five to get a new front wing - which definitely meant a premature pit stop. So everything looked far from perfect. You know when you have a fast car starting from the back usually means that you have an easy first lap, but this time around it was quite the contrary. But after I pitted, the race started to develop well for me. In fact it was developing into a really fun race in terms of passing people. So yes, it was great fun. Before the race I told my guys that we should go for the win. It didn’t work out completely, but P3 is very satisfying from where I started.

Q: Especially after your disappointment in qualifying …
JB:
Saturday afternoon was purely a misunderstanding. But that was yesterday and it is no use to cry over spilled milk.

Q: So is 13 now a lucky number for you?
JB:
No, not really! I definitely prefer the single digit numbers when it comes to grid position! (laughs)

Q: At which point of the race did you think a podium could be possible?
JB:
It was after the safety car phase, when I started to overtake people. One or two cars a lap! That’s when I thought that the pace was pretty good considering the damage that we had. Most of the others had to put primes on - but we didn’t have to - I was running on options, and that made everything a lot easier. The race really developed into a fun ride. We just have to eliminate little mistakes and then we will again win races because the car is quick enough. Now as it is, it’s the best car we have had all year. I feel very comfy so there should be no reason why we shouldn’t win races.

Q: It didn’t look easy to pass Nico Rosberg…
JB:
Yes, the Mercedes had a very low downforce setting. Actually it was more of a Monza wing setting than a Spa setting. I remember coming behind Michael (Schumacher) thinking that I had a good run with DRS and I was on the limit already and then Michael started to pull away. I wondered how he could do that! But I guess they went for a completely different aero package, which made it very tricky to overtake them. But we’ve got there in the end!

Q: The next race will be in Monza. What are your expectations?
JB:
Monza is a fantastic track. I remember my fantastic battle with Fernando (Alonso) last year and I eventually finished second. So I am ready to go for the win there.

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