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Jenson Button Q&A: P6 was achieved on merit 24 Aug 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 23 August 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013

Jenson Button and McLaren haven’t had a great deal to smile about post-qualifying this season, but after achieving sixth position on the grid in Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday - a season-best - they could justifiably feel satisfied. After stepping out of his car, Button shared his thoughts on an eventful session and his prospects for the race on Sunday…

Q: Please tell us your impressions of your Spa weekend so far.
Jenson Button:
For me it’s been a really good weekend so far - given our season experiences. The car felt extremely good. Also I think the balance, as well as the pace, is constantly improving. This morning in the dry conditions I felt very good. Friday afternoon was a bit strange as the car felt completely different. As soon as I exited the pitlane everything felt very different. We saw this issue with both our cars, so I think it was more about the ambient temperature, the wind and the weather in general as it was unusually warm. On low fuel both the pace and the feeling was not there. We’ve been looking into the data from Friday evening and our guys worked very hard to get it back to the feeling of P1 where the car behaved like it had in the simulator. My guess overall after the three practice sessions was that we could be pretty strong as generally the long-run pace was okay - and today I was proved right as we haven’t been too far off, given the difficult conditions in qualifying.

Q: What are your feelings about the circuit itself?
JB:
The racetrack is stunning. It is one of the best circuits to drive as it is so fast and flowing, and it’s such good fun to drive around. It does remind me of my karting days because the circuit is unforgiving, which I love about motor racing! (laughs) I think we have lost that a little bit over the years. I love tracks like here, Suzuka and Monza.

Q: So what do you make of starting from P6 tomorrow?
JB:
Well, I think we’ve shown good performance over the last two days so we do deserve the position that we have. It was definitely not down to luck, but achieved by our own merit. We have made another step forward and it is good to see that all our efforts somehow pay off. It would have been nice if it would have happened earlier in the season, but how does the saying go: better late than never! We’ve been working very hard - I don’t know how many different wings we’ve tried in these last two days - so we have a load of information that will also help us for the next race in Monza.

Q: So what are you expecting for the race tomorrow?
JB:
How would I know? My guess is that with changing conditions it will be a tough race for all of the top ten, really - because we’ve all run on inters - so it might make the race a bit more difficult for us.

Q: Might rain help?
JB:
I personally would appreciate it if it stayed dry.

Q: P6 is much more like where you want to be. Is it a platform for a podium finish tomorrow - the first for McLaren this season?
JB:
I think there are still a couple of things that we are lacking here - efficiency is one of them. And we are still not quick enough, but probably the findings from this weekend will help us in Monza. For now P6 is a realistic position for us, but it is also an indication that we are on our way up again. Having three Brits among the top six - that’s a cool result, isn’t it? (laughs)

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