Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Q&A with McLaren’s Jenson Button 08 Jun 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 (L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren, and Race Engineer Dave Robson (GBR) McLaren
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013

It was not a good day in Canada for McLaren, with neither Jenson Button nor team mate Sergio Perez progressing beyond Q2. After qualifying, however, Button was in typically philosophical mood, refusing to make predictions about Sunday’s race, and simply enjoying the welcome Montreal always gives to Formula One racing and its fans…

Q: Jenson, what went wrong today with your qualifying?
Jenson Button:
One thing is for sure, we are not quick enough. But this was also one of these sessions where things did not fall into place, like the traffic and also getting the lap on the tyres before the rain started. Also the red flag at that very time has not been good for us. Then after the red flag I thought that ten seconds from the last corner to the first corner would be enough to get another timed lap, but then it wasn’t as I was half a second short. Although I am not sure I would have been quick enough to get into Q3 anyway. Every time I tried to go for a quick lap then there was either a yellow flag, it rained a bit more, or ultimately for me the red flag. If things all fall into place and you do really well, then you think you’re a genius, and when they don’t you blame bad luck (laughs).

Q: Looking at the Friday practice sessions, were you satisfied with the outcome then? Long runs are what make the day in the race…
JB:
Generally I was satisfied, yes, although it was a big pity that I could only do three laps on high fuel load as then I had a problem with the gearbox. This really came at the wrong time because the long-run information was the one thing that was still missing on my car, so it was difficult to say what we should change on the balance set-up for qualifying.

Q: What will be tomorrow’s strategy to get a better result than your grid position today?
JB:
Drive fast and don’t go off track. (laughs)

Q: You won here in Canada in 2011 and your former team mate last year. How do you rate the chances of another British win this weekend?
JB:
Looks a bit tougher indeed, although the McLarens usually go well around here. We see fairly mixed conditions this weekend, so we have to wait and see. For sure we will not be able to suddenly gain another second around here compared to previous races. Nevertheless, we have some new things on the car that should help us improve. For sure it will be important to know how the tyres will behave during the race, but also to understand the downforce levels will be quite tricky.

Q: This track has some very unique features in comparison to most of the other tracks throughout the season. What is your personal impression of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve?
JB:
It is quite different. A lot of long straights, a lot of slow-speed chicanes and no real high-speed corner; heavy braking and therefore the traction will be quite important, with making sure that you have a good straight-line speed. It is a very fun circuit to race, and if the temperature is going to be low it will be very tricky to find the right set-up for the weekend. But if you find the right set-up and you manage to do well it is quite rewarding.

Q: Do you feel that McLaren are gaining ground on your competitors?
JB:
I think so, yes. Looking at Monaco it was a good weekend in terms of performance, rather than the result itself. We are making progress, but at the moment F1 is so very competitive, and everyone is moving forward and we need to make sure that we do a little more than anyone else.

Q: Are there still big updates coming that might yet transform the 2013 McLaren into a winning car?
JB:
If it was only that easy, but we have to face that we are racing against Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus. These are all great teams that have won world championships before. If we were able to suddenly come up with a car that would win every race, then they would be doing something wrong. There are a lot of very clever people in this sport, and not only in our team.

Q: When it comes to testing, would you have been up for a three-day test with 1000 kilometres?
JB:
Sounds a bit tiring to me, and it has been a long time since I have spent three days in a Formula One car. I don’t even think that we did 1000 kilometres in winter testing, as we did not really have a reliable car back then. But thinking about it, I probably would have been up for it. It has also been quite some time since we had in-season testing.

Q: Looking at Montreal itself, you really feel that everyone is in this town to enjoy the Formula One experience...
JB:
It is a fun city, and I have already been here one week. It is a great place to train, as well as to enjoy yourself and the city really does stop for Formula One, which is really great as the many fans that come here really embrace the sport.

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 and F1 team merchandise, click here.