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Jenson Button Q&A: Pole feels almost as good as a win 01 Sep 2012

Pole sitter Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Pole sitter Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012

You should never make the mistake of writing off Jenson Button. Just when people were starting to think he’d have to switch to supporting McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton, Button bounced back effortlessly with a dominant pole in Spa on Saturday. He discusses qualifying and his hopes for the race…

Q: Jenson, what a fantastic afternoon for you…
Jenson Button:
I want it to continue tomorrow! We have to start to go for the big points if we want to have a say in the championship. It was a great day for us - almost like a win. But of course we will have to finish the race in a good points’ position to say that it was a great weekend.

Q: Is the championship still on you agenda?
JB:
Of course! I get asked if I think that I can still win the championship and the answer is clearly yes. But I don’t think about it when I go to sleep at night.

Q: Team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said that if you’re no longer in the fight for the championship you could help Hamilton…
JB:
Well, I have never had a team mate that helped me. But well, these days I guess every team would do the same thing and any driver. We want this team to do well, especially in the constructors’ championship. So if mathematically you can’t go for the drivers’ championship you do everything you can to support your team and your team mate.

Q: But it’s not something you’re thinking about at the moment…
JB:
Well, if you are only 40 points behind your team mate and there are still nine races to go then this is a conversation I don’t need right now. I am here to race and do the best I can. I am here to fight and enjoy myself.

Q: What is your view on Spa? You have had a couple of podiums, but you’ve also had some not so happy moments….
JB:
Well, in my first year of F1 I qualified third and last year I started from P14 and made it to the podium, so there are no hard feelings towards this track. On the contrary. I think I have shown that today. This is an incredible circuit. To do a good qualifying lap feels awesome! You really have to push the car to the limit because this place is really unforgiving. And you can really race here - like racing is meant to be. You can easily overtake, well as far as overtaking any rival is easy. (laughs) This is one of the best tracks in the world.

Q: What do you need to win at this track?
JB:
You need everything. You obviously need efficient downforce but you also need speed. This track is very tough on the car but also on the driver. Here you really have to make your car work, even in the low speed corners.

Q: Friday was a dreadful day with two seriously wet sessions. What did you glean from Practice One and Two?
JB:
Not much, really. We did some starts from the pits - to see how we performed - but that was about it. FP1 was actually a bit better. Yes, there was aquaplaning on the straights but it was a lot safer. Or at least safe enough to do some running.

Q: McLaren came to Spa with an upgrade package. Are they working as expected?
JB:
If they weren’t you wouldn’t find me on pole position! Yes, the guys in the factory did an incredible job.

Q: Do you think the time for random drivers winning races is over as we go into the final phase of the championship?
JB:
Well, yes, we are heading into a hot phase. But then it is so difficult to say how it will go as so many different types of races are coming up now. We have two fast circuits with this weekend and in Monza next weekend. A Spa and Monza back-to-back is quite cool. But then Europe is done and we head to Singapore, which is a twisty road circuit. And then we have the fast-flowing track of Suzuka so I think these four races will still mix up the field a bit.

Q: It seems that everybody aside from you had a pretty relaxing holiday. Tell us what you did?
JB:
Well, it was relaxing as well - sort of. I’ve been in the Philippines doing an Iron Man competition - and qualified for the world championship next weekend which was fantastic. I won’t take part of course as I will be in Monza! (laughs). Then I spent some time in Hawaii. Then I flew back to Europe and now I am here.

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