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Jenson Button Q&A: It was an enjoyable but demanding race

30 Mar 2014

McLaren failed to reproduced their podium-worthy pace in Malaysia, but both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were once again able to finish in the points - the Englishman in an impressive sixth place. Afterwards Button talked through what he described as an enjoyable but demanding race…

Q: Jenson, sixth place today. How happy are you with that result?

Jenson Button: It looks like all my training is finally paying off (laughs). It was quite tough, as it felt so hot out there. Also looking constantly into your mirrors to see what the two Williams are doing behind you is very demanding. It was not easy to figure out where to push and not push around the lap to keep them behind me, as they were much quicker. Also, being 36 seconds behind another Mercedes-powered car (Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India) is quite a surprise to us. Overall it was an enjoyable race, and we cannot wish for any more than that. I think we got the most out of the package that we have at the moment and I didn’t think that we would finish sixth today after Friday, as I can remember that there were not too many other cars that were slower than us on the long-runs. A big thank you to the guys in the garage - the pit stops were spot on - and also to the people back in Woking who figured out a very good strategy for the race.

Q: We have seen quite a big change in conditions between Melbourne and Malaysia; what do you think will be different in the dry heat of Bahrain?

JB: I don’t think that the humid heat and the high-speed corners have really worked for us here. We know that we are still weak in high-speed. We do have strengths, and that was exactly the reason why we could keep the others behind us. Malaysia was always going to be tough for us, as we pretty much knew that we would overheat the tyres in the dry and we struggled to get temperature in the wet. Also the downforce in the high-speed corners is still a problem that we need to get under control. So for Bahrain we will have to see what we are able to do, but I think it should suit us better, as there are only three high-speed corners in Bahrain. I know that we were not so competitive in testing there, but we have had some upgrades since then. Hopefully by the time we go to Europe we should have a few more new parts on the car.

Q: How did you manage to defend your position against the two Williams cars for so long?

JB: It was very tricky once you got off line, as you got a lot of debris from the tyres and it gets a little twitchy. It was good fun though, but mentally very tiring at the same time. I then figured out where I could push, and that I had a very good exit at the last two corners. As a team we do not have the pace yet, but we’ve got to keep pushing for upgrades. We do have the resources, and we do have the team power, so I am sure that we can close up to the frontrunners very soon. They (Red Bull) are going to have a good car, but I think we have closed the gap in that respect compared to last year - and now we just have to keep going! (laughs)