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Q&A with McLaren’s Jenson Button 23 Nov 2012

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012

McLaren are still in the fight for P2 in the constructors’ championship with Ferrari. In the Woking team’s terminology this might translate as being ‘first of the losers’, but aside from more prize money it also means keeping the numbers 3 and 4 on the cars (rather than 5 and 6) for next season. And it’s next season that Button spent a lot of his Friday time concentrating on…

Q: Jenson, many of your peers speak of the difficult tyre situation. What is your impression? Any issues today?
Jenson Button:
No, not really. True it was unusually hot today - hotter than we’d expected and this is probably going to be difficult for the weekend - but for today, no. We’ve been running a different aero package in the afternoon - and that was quite interesting. When it is hot you have less downforce and then it always gets quite tricky. But it was a useful afternoon. (laughs)

Q: So with conditions expected to change your crew will work until late to give you a different car tomorrow?
JB:
Definitely. The temperatures will be also very different tomorrow than to Sunday. The wing level that we’ve been trying, there is a very small chance that we will be racing that on Sunday, but it was a very useful information for next year.

Q: Can you give us a bit more information on the low-downforce running in today’s practice?
JB:
It was to see how the wing works and to get information, really. It was the worst condition to run a low-downforce car, because with such high temperatures there is more sliding and you overheat the tyres. It sure was not perfect in terms of lap times, but it was useful data. Surprisingly on the long run it wasn’t that bad. It was only on the short runs, as you can’t use DRS where you’d like.

Q: But when it rains you very likely will not go for a low-downforce car?
JB:
No, that is also true. And there is really a big chance of rain on Sunday.

Q: So if it is hot on Friday and Saturday but cooler and rainy on Sunday, how are you preparing? And how useful are these sessions to prepare for the race?
JB:
Well, these sessions are just to see how the car is if it is dry. There is the chance that it is dry tomorrow for qualifying and maybe miracles happen and it is also dry on Sunday. But true, today’s conditions were not useful testing for wet tyres, so you have to get the most out of the situation by concentrating on data.

Q: You’ve been running a significantly different wing set-up to Lewis (Hamilton). Can you speak about why that is?
JB:
We’ve been trying a wing that we’ve used earlier in the year and we’ve thought that probably it might work here - but the hot conditions trashed that hope.

Q: But isn’t it somewhat of a compromise at the season finale to be looking so much at next year, especially with the new development tyres?
JB:
I think for every team it was a useful morning to have that tyre to play with and to start with. It is very different.

Q: When you’re going into qualifying tomorrow, will you do that on a wet set-up?
JB:
No, because the cars today, if you set it up for dry if it is dry in qualifying, you need to be as close to the front. You still have the front wing to play with in the race.

Q: Would you welcome rain on Sunday?
JB:
I’d prefer it dry, but of course it will be interesting in the wet. We haven’t driven in the wet for a long time and the last time we did our car wasn’t very quick around Silverstone time, so I hope that the upgrades that we did since then will help in the wet, as this was really a weak point for us. So let’s hope this weakness is a thing of the past.

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