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Jenson Button Q&A: We hope to make some points here 20 Sep 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013

Jenson Button knows the night-time conditions of Singapore combined with a street circuit could lead to an interesting race for McLaren. Plus the former world champion comments on the topic of the day - driver movements for next year...

Q: Jenson, how did it go today - is it another ‘baby-step’ in the right direction?
Jenson Button:
The first session was not so great, but in the second we’ve been able to get closer to the pacemakers from Red Bull - even though being one and a half seconds off the fastest time definitely leaves room for improvement. We will work on that tomorrow.

Q: So what do you expect in terms of the performance of the McLaren in qualifying and the race?
JB:
Let’s look at the conditions first: having a street circuit running at night with the slight chance of rain sounds like a very interesting thing. Then this is a high-downforce circuit, which is also quite bumpy so we have to find out where we are in terms of race pace. There is usually a massive shift in balance and grip level from P1 to qualifying so this is what we also have to take into account. It already showed from P1 to P2. Nevertheless I am very much looking forward to this race, but cannot really say where we are in terms of race performance so far. We hope to make some points here for sure, and I hope that fifth or sixth place could be possible.

Q: What is your feeling on the light situation?
JB:
Some of my colleagues say that there is no difference to a daylight race, but I think that there is, as it is a different light. Also some corners are a little bit darker than others. They have done an amazing job in lighting the circuit, but it is never going to be perfect.

Q: Do you think that the Singapore race is the toughest on the calendar?
JB:
It is very physical, mostly because of the humidity as you are sweating a lot. Also on the straights it is very bumpy and you are really not getting any rest in the car. So this circuit needs you to do a lot of exercising to get used to the conditions. This is why I will be running late at night around the track. I heard someone comparing it to Monaco, although I don’t agree too much. In Monaco you have quite a few high-speed corners and everything feels a lot faster there. To me it is a very different circuit. It is not so easy to overtake here, but a lot easier than in Monaco.

Q: Do you stay on European time for this race?
JB:
I pretty much stay in the European time zone. I have lunch at 8.30pm, dinner at 1am and in bed by 4am. It feels a bit weird, as you feel that you have a lot of time during the day, but this is simply because you have nothing to do and it feels like you have a lot of time on your hands. You could always choose to go to a night club here in Singapore, but that is maybe not the best preparation for a race... (laughs)

Q: How is your contractual situation with McLaren at the moment?
JB:
The only thing I can say is that I will be in next year.

Q: What are your thoughts on Kimi Raikkonen's move to Ferrari?
JB:
It is an interesting choice to have two world champions in one team. It can be both good and bad, but nevertheless very interesting from the individual's point of view. For sure it is a lot of talent for Ferrari to deal with. Both drivers have been in Formula One for a long time and have both achieved so much. What I cannot see is that any of them would listen to a team order, if they would give out one in the first place. Looking at Fernando (Alonso), who is a very intelligent and fast driver, I would say that his new team mate will not make him any faster, as then he would have made something wrong for the last couple of years.

Q: Do you have the feeling that the championship is decided already?
JB:
Looking at the last couple of races you could say yes, but the Singapore circuit is very different. Red Bull have been very dominant at the low-downforce races, and here with a high-downforce race they have much more competition. So it will not be as easy as the last couple of races. What they’ve shown today seems pretty promising for them, but a championship is won when mathematically no other driver can score more points - and we are not there yet.

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