Q: Jenson, out in Q1: is that satisfying?
Jenson Button: Ha, serious question? Well, the car was reasonable balanced in qualifying with a bit of understeer. The first run was quite promising - all in all it was not too bad as I had a reasonable tow from the car in front, but even with that it did not work for Q2. The gap was small - so it was a shame!
Q: You and Fernando [Alonso] are both resilient drivers but it still must be hard to cope with a qualifying session like today. How do you cope with these setbacks weekend after weekend?
JB: Ah, you don’t at times. But the whole team is watching us giving interviews so you have to be positive. It is not easy right now. I honestly hope that we move forward - for the whole team, not only for us drivers. It all could be worse - that’s the way you have to look at it. We definitely hope that the next race - Singapore - will be much better and that we will finally get back into the points zone! There everything could be a different story.
Q: If you look at it from an internal battle perspective, you won today…
JB: I wouldn’t say that. Internal battles are always fun - especially if your team mate is Fernando Alonso. That’s what you take from a day like today. We knew that this race would be painful in terms of pace and penalties - so we will do our best even though it is not the most exciting race for us. The message is: stay positive!
Q: Is there anything you are looking forward to in the race?
JB: Lap one. Fernando and I gained so many places on lap one in Spa - and lost everything on lap two! So definitely lap one is where the kick is for us. A good start is important here - but the interesting action will be in Turn 1. It can get crazy there. We can’t keep anyone behind us as we are not quick enough in a straight line. It will be a one-stop race for most of the people and yes, I would say that our degradation is better than many others but the chances that this will change anything for us is rather slim. It will definitely be a tough day for the whole team tomorrow. Of course we don’t want to disappoint our fans that have been so brave, and I honestly hope that we can pay them back in a couple of weeks!
Q: So the target for the race is to see the chequered flag?
JB: Well I think I will start from P15 tomorrow once all the penalties are in place - so let’s see where it takes me from there. I was only two tenths off from Q2 and actually that was better than I had expected. We know that we are not very quick in terms of race pace - Fernando’s race pace on Thursday - I only had limited running so have no valuable data from my car. It was not really great so we have to drive through this weekend. So yes finishing is paramount and take all the information for the next race.
Q: What happened to you on Friday afternoon? You only did one lap…
JB: We had a cooling leak. The car was crying! And we couldn’t fix it in time.
Q: On top of the missing race pace is reliability something that worries you?
JB: Reliability doesn’t scare me in any way. If it happens you learn, if it doesn’t happen it’s great and you learn as well. It’s still all about learning for us - and take all the findings into the next race. It is a bit of a shame because Monza is a fantastic track and of course you want to do well here. It is still one of these iconic tracks where racing is something special. And here the enthusiasm of the fans adds even more excitement to it.