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Jenson Button Q&A: Overall it was a promising day for us 10 May 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren in the McLaren garage.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 9 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013

Friday in Barcelona was expected to be an enormously important day for Jenson Button and McLaren as the British team brought a raft of updates to the track in a bid to boost the performance of their MP4-28. Things didn't start off brilliantly for the 2009 world champion as he spent most of the wet morning session in the garage. Thankfully, Button managed considerably more running in the dry afternoon session and after stepping out of the car he spoke to reporters...

Q: Jenson, how are you going about this weekend?
Jenson Button:
First of all I must say that I am happy that we are back in Barcelona. Performance-wise, of course, I hope that all the new parts that we’ve brought here will work as planned. The data we have from the wind tunnel suggested that it will be a big leap forward - but this is data. You have to see it in reality, have to feel it and make it work on the car. It is so competitive right now on the grid that even a small change can make all the difference. So let’s hope that once we have implemented the whole range of updates that Sunday will be a good day for us.

Q: How much is this new package connected to the morale of the team, meaning if this doesn’t work that it will affect the guys at the factory?
JB:
The thing is it is not so easy to say ‘it works’ or ‘it doesn’t’. It is a lot more difficult than that as some parts may work and others not. Of course, you hope that in the end it all works, but that is not something that becomes visible in a couple of laps. The good news is that if some parts work you at least know in which direction you have to go. But believe me: whatever happens this weekend - the guys will not get down. We are very good at improving over the season, so even if this weekend is not as good as we had hoped we will still keep on pushing. This team wants to win races and that is what we will aim for.

Q: What about your motivation? The car was the fastest on the grid at the end of last season so 2013 should have been your shot at leading a competitive team…
JB:
Leading a top team actually was never on my mind. You have ups and downs and this team has been very strong in the last couple of years even though it hasn’t clinched a title - but we’ve won many Grands Prix.

Q: Barcelona is probably a racetrack that all of you know in your sleep because of all the winter testing, so how are you keeping focused and sharp and not banking too much on memory?
JB:
Ha, Barcelona is quite a tricky circuit, especially the last sector which is very slow and you can lose a lot of time in the last chicane. The parts that I really enjoy are Turn 2 and Turn 3. Turn 1 is tough because you really never know where the tyre is. But Turn 2 and Turn 3 are a great couple of corners - especially in qualifying when you really can push the tyres. That is really enjoyable - pure enjoyment of driving an F1 car! (laughs)

Q: Still when looking at the times they are not that fantastic so it might look as if strategy is still your best shot at a good result…
JB:
Well, I don’t know if this weekend is like the four races before when you could play around a little bit with strategy and get an advantage. The tyre situation will be crucial. The new ones are reasonably hard - but this circuit is very aggressive and, in fact, very abrasive. We found this out during winter testing with the long runs. If it is the same thing here we really have to look at what happened in the winter tests - not on a single lap - but over a longer run.

Q: So what have you learned from today?
JB:
Fighting at the front would be amazing for us thinking of where we were at the last few races. I don’t think that you will see a leap that far to the front right now but the good news is: today we’ve experienced far fewer issues with the balance. Of course the aim is to move forward with every race and I would say that we’ve definitely are moving further to the front. The downside is: everybody else has too.

Q: So hand on heart: how big was the improvement?
JB:
That is hard to say as we had rather limited running - doing only 6 laps with no time in the morning, so we didn’t have the new front wing on the car and I am not sure if we will this weekend. This evening we have to go through a lot of data to see what is working and what is not - what in the end will help the balance.

Q: You just mentioned that the data from the updates looked good in the wind tunnel - only in the wind tunnel?
JB:
Well, it is good to see that the data from the wind tunnel and what we have seen today correlates - so it is something that we can build on. Whether it’s this weekend that we move significantly towards the front, I doubt it. But overall it was a promising day in regards to the future.

Q: Will you make it to Q3 tomorrow?
JB:
I hope so!

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