Jenson Button Q&A: We have a good starting point 06 Feb 2013
Jenson Button ended the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez at the top of the timesheets, but it wasnt all plain sailing for the McLaren driver as a fuel pump problem significantly curtailed his running. After an eventful first session in the new MP4-28, the 2009 world champion spoke to the media about his first impressions of the car
Q: Jenson, how was the first day of testing? It seemed to be quite a rollercoaster ride for you with a poor morning and a good afternoon session
Jenson Button: Yep, that is not what you really want - only three laps into the day and having an issue. But that is how things go sometimes. It took us quite a long time to fix the fuel pump issue - we definitely didnt expect that to happen. But once we sorted it out I was able to do some good laps and, yes, it was a nice feeling.
Q: Lets talk about that feeling - has the car got a special feeling?
JB: Forgetting the lap time - I dont know if it is quick or not as you never know what people do and it's only the first day of testing - there is nothing that frightens me, so its definitely a good starting point. When I drove out of the garage I immediately felt comfortable in the car - very much at home with the way it feels. But I have to repeat myself: it is the first day of testing and you are not going to know if it is a championship-winning car or not. But once we solved our issues this morning the car ran smoothly. Isnt that good news?
Q: Did you get what you wanted from today?
JB: Well, doing 36 laps is not what we came here for on the first day. But things like that do happen. I was surprised that we had an issue. But as I just said, once we fixed that it was a smooth ride. It was very close to what Ive experienced in the simulator and that is good news and very important for future developments. Lets hope that this fuel pump issue was our only issue of this test and we can now go out and build on reliability.
Q: Is there anything on the car that you absolutely dont like and would want to be changed right away?
JB: No, not at all. Certainly you will improve the balance over the next test session, but that is what testing is all about. We push the car to its limits in different ways but that is what you do at tests. I have the same seat that I had last year in the car, so the comfy feeling was there immediately and nothing is wrong with the car! (laughs)
Q: What does it mean to do the fastest lap of the very first test day - with almost a one-second advantage?
JB: Who knows what that really means? Lap times are really not the important thing right now. So forget about the lap time. As I just said, the feeling is nice.
Q: How did you find the new Pirelli compounds? Were they immediately recognisable?
JB: When I ran the supersoft this morning doing some basic installations I was graining the tyres after one lap, so yes, this compound deserves the name supersoft! We also ran the medium and the hard tyres today and its a different feeling compared to last year here. I think it is a better tyre. It will be tricky again in terms of laps and degradation, but Pirelli has done a great job getting a wider range for the tyres. One thing that I have noticed - you are able to go fast immediately, even on lap one. That is something that we couldnt do last year.
Q: Everybody says that the new McLaren looks very good. Do you agree?
JB: That is not the foremost quality that I am searching for in a car. But when I stopped today on the track and looked at it from a distance, yes, I would say it is a pretty car. You dont design a car around its looks - it is all aero efficiency and downforce - but it is, of course, always nice to have a car that looks good as well.
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