F1 » 1 September 2012
Belgian GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.1
Drivers: Jenson Button (McLaren), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
Jenson, your 50th race for your team and what a way to mark it, with your first pole position for them?
It's been quite a long time since I got my last pole position – that was back in 2009, Monaco I think. It was pretty emotional. Sunday's have been good for the past few years, but Saturdays have not gone perfectly you could say. So, a great qualifying session and it's so important to come back after the break, such a long break, with a good result on Saturday. I know the race is tomorrow but this is close to winning a race for me because it's been so long.
Kamui, your first front row in F1 and also the first front row for a Japanese driver in F1, so yoku dekimashita to you.
Really? Thank you. It's quite far from yesterday's practice where we struggled quite a bit and we really had no idea what we were going to do. But this morning in that hour we changed the settings and we improved better, definitely. Quali? Of course we don't know what is really a fact, how much there is an improvement of track condition. But we have good confidence at Spa and after the summer holiday everybody wants to have a really good potential in the car. In these three months there are going to be like nine races, it's quite busy but very important for us so I'm very happy to have a great result here.
Pastor, your holiday included a return trip back to Venezuela. The rest might have done you a bit of good as well, with another top three qualifying. Not the most straightforward qualifying for you but in the end it all came good.
Yeah, I think we've been quite consistent in qualifying all season, especially since Barcelona and now it seems to be a bit more strong, the car. We've been working so hard, even in the break, trying to analyse and understand all the problems we had in the past, to sort it out for the second part of the season and that means we are quite competitive. Especially this morning we were struggling a little it with the set-up but we understand and we knew where to work on the car. I'm very happy because the team reacted. The spirit is high in the team. We are working so compact now. I'm looking forward to the second part of the season. The races were up and down in the first part and looking forward to the second part to recover what we lost at the beginning of the season.
Jenson, you mentioned an emotional day for you but there were three laps that were more than good enough for pole. What was the secret? Why was today such a good Saturday, when others have been such a struggle?
If I knew, it would make everything great! We just got the balance right this morning. The car's been working really well all day. It's limited running we've all had but every run we've done the balance has been reasonably good and we just tickled it, especially through qualifying. Yeah, the balance is to my liking. I obviously have a style where it's quite difficult to find a car that works for me in qualifying but when it does we can get pole position. So, big thank you to the whole team, especially Dave and Tom, my two engineers, who on Saturdays, some of the time, have found it pretty tough. But today is a good day and it makes it a lot easier for us tomorrow being in this position but it's still going to be hard day I think.
Kamui, we saw the Saubers very impressive in the final practice session, the only dry session before qualifying. Was this a result you expected today or did it still come as a massive shock?
Of course we expect like really high for this weekend because Spa is one of our favourite circuits. I think our car should be good here as well. Of course I didn't expect second in qualifying. We're basically quite strong in the race, but not strong in quali with other tracks. I think we have a really great opportunity for tomorrow as well. I think this is a really good start for the rest of the season. We need to be really strong in quali. Definitely, I think in this summer break, the guys had a lot of work and they did a really great job. We had really a lot of chats with them and we're happy to be here and confident and we showed that in quali. It's really great and thanks to the guys.
Pastor, Williams third on the grid. Did you expect that coming to Spa or is this just the team making good fortune out of others' misfortune in the qualifying session?
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