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Jenson Button Q&A: McLaren updates a big step forward 20 Jul 2012

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012

It’s been hard to tell what’s been going on with Jenson Button in recent races. Given the performance of his McLaren team mate, the former champion’s lack of results may seem strange to say the least. But Button is renowned for his ability to recover from difficult situations - and after Friday’s positive showing at Hockenheim, there are signs that he suspects the heavily-revised MP4-27 may just help him do it again…

Q: Jenson, please give us an update on that car of yours…
Jenson Button:
Ha! Well, we have done a lot of stuff in the wind tunnel and that seemed to be pretty good and you must also have noticed that it looks slightly different to what we had previously. There are some upgrades, some new bits and pieces here and there - some aerodynamics, some mechanical - and now we hope that it all works as planned.

Q: What have you done personally? Being at the factory and working with the guys?
JB:
Yes, I have been at the factory - and I had a pretty nice break spending some days in the south of France, so it feels like a long time since Silverstone. It is nice to be back at a circuit that I really enjoy here in Hockenheim.

Q: Hockenheim marks the end of the first half of the season. When you look back at the past months, what is your personal take on it?
JB:
It’s not been the best start into a season, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. The important thing is not to look back, but forward. We have brought a few updates to this race, which probably others have done too, but ours should get us a big chunk of time, which would be very helpful at this stage of time. Other than that I really enjoy being here and I like the circuit.

Q: Can you give us the outcome of your debrief of the Silverstone weekend?
JB:
It wasn’t too bad actually. First you look at the negatives, and then you start looking at the positives. For once, our pace was not there, which is a big negative obviously. On the positive side, I think we did very well as a team and got the most out of the car, and the guys did a great job during the pit stops. Also the strategy was very good. It was just that we weren’t quick enough. The only thing that you can do about this is update bits to the car. We have brought a good - mechanically and also aerodynamically - update, which should work very well here, but whether all the effort is really delivering we will only know on Sunday afternoon. So far I am very hopeful that it will, as some of the ingredients point in that direction.

Q: You have had very good results here at Hockenheim in the past when fighting for positions. Is that an inspiration for you?
JB:
I simply love to drive here because you have good opportunities to overtake - and that makes a good fight worthwhile. (laughs) The stadium section is really fun because it usually is a ‘full house’ and that makes a fantastic atmosphere.

Q: So share with us your views of today’s running…
JB:
Well, today was actually a pretty good day for us. I would guess that we’ve got more out of the two sessions than most others did. We’ve been able to collect a bag full of information as it was paramount for us to get our updates working in connection with the tyres. It is still something of a struggle to get them to temperature, but once we do the pace is good. I think we should be happy with most of the new parts that we’ve put on as they are working correctly, so believe me it is nice to see these improvements. The guys in the factory did a fantastic job.

Q: How will qualifying be tomorrow? Tight?
JB:
It might not be tight at all. If it is wet it could be thrown up in the air. Plan a good strategy, but don’t be afraid if we have to alter that.

Q: How important will this weekend be in terms of momentum, to know that the wobble is over and you can go back to the situation of the first few races?
JB:
Well, I hope that this race should be a good race for us, but if not I am sure the same question will come up in Budapest. So let me say that our main objective is not to answer these sorts of questions but to go out there and do what we can do. With the good upgrade that we have it should give us the chance to close the gap and be right up there again.

Q: Are you still confident in the fundamentals of the car - that it is still the machine that with ongoing upgrades will carry you through the second half of the season?
JB:
Yes. The car itself has been quick this year; it won two races and has been close to winning others. So the basic car is good. I think that we’ve just been lacking in some areas and I think we have eliminated that with the updates we’ve brought here for the weekend.

Q: Do you need some dramatic changes to keep you in the game?
JB:
I don’t think you think that way. At every race you do, you try to do your best - you don’t sit back and relax, whether you are in the front or sat at the back. More importantly, we have the expertise and we have the manpower, so we should be strong here in Hockenheim.

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