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Jenson Button Q&A: There's still a chance of victory 10 Sep 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011

Being beaten to pole position by over half a second by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is not a great starting point for McLaren team mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Button, however, isn’t feeling too disheartened with his third-place grid slot and is confident the British team will be able to show more of the MP4-26’s pace on Sunday…

Q: Jenson, how satisfied are you with a second row grid slot?
Jenson Button:
Well, I would say that Q3 was fine, but looking back I have to say that this weekend started pretty badly for me on Friday. So taking that into account it’s not too bad. In Q3 I unfortunately lost one-tenth in Turn One and carried that all through the lap so I pitted early to save tyres. To be honest looking at the timesheet that half a second Sebastian (Vettel) is ahead is a pretty long way. But then it’s Saturday and tomorrow is the big day, and hopefully we can show that we have pace then.

Q: Red Bull’s Mark Webber reported KERS problems on his car - and it’s long way down to Turn One…
JB:
It will certainly be tricky from where I am because it is quite narrow. The first two can be side by side but a third car will find it very difficult to find a gap to move forward. It is a long race and we definitely will not do anything stupid into Turn One. I know that is easy to say now because when the adrenalin is pumping a situation might look much more promising than it really is, but we are professionals and should be able to control our actions. As I just said it is a long race and I hope that many opportunities will come my way. We’ve done a good job in terms of strategy, gearing and down force - we’ve tried many different things over the last two days - but of course it’s not a perfect weekend because we are not both on front row.

Q: Were you expecting the Red Bulls to be so strong here?
JB:
Look at their qualifying record then you know that they are fast everywhere. To be that strong here? Possibly not half a second strong! But also at other races we’ve seen them with a massive advantage in qualifying, and then they’ve lost some of their pace in the race. So you can be sure that we will do our best.

Q: You just mentioned that Vettel was half a second ahead in qualifying. Will he be able to keep that advantage in the race?
JB:
I hope not (laughs) but it is a massive gap so it is going to be tough for us to catch up. But it is not the first time that we’ve seen a margin like that, so my guess is that we will race better than we’ve qualified - I hope! It is the first hot race in quite a while and my guess is that it will be tough on tyres - and tough on us.

Q: On Friday you predicted a spectacular race - do you still believe that’s possible?
JB:
Yes I still do and let’s hope that we are part of that.

Q: You have never won at Monza - not even in your championship -winning year in 2009. Could tomorrow be your turn?
JB:
Starting from P3 is not the worst position to hold out for a race win. To be honest I haven’t got a clue what will happen tomorrow - so let’s wait and see. One thing that is promising is if you take the last race in Spa. I started from P10 and ended in P3.

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