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Post-qualifying press conference - Italian GP - Pt.1

You seem to have hit the ground running from the start of the weekend, and just yesterday you said it was just fine-tuning. Is that what's been going on?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, yeah, just getting used to the setup to try to find us a time everywhere. It's a beautiful track, just such an incredible circuit, and I think, probably the more and more you drive it, the more you appreciate it. Of course you have to respect this circuit. It's such high speed. And also the fans here are absolutely incredible. Such passionate people who love motor racing, pure motor racing, so it's great to see.

Q:
Of course it's great to have an all-McLaren front row but is it better to have your team-mate alongside you or would you prefer somebody else?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's not bad or good. It's good because it's good for the team and we can score maximum points for the team tomorrow. And so that's, for me, the way I think.

Q:
Jenson, a winner last weekend as well, and here you are on the front. You've qualified second here before. Your feelings about being second on the grid?

Jenson Button:
Relatively happy. I started the weekend pretty happy with the car. We tried a couple of things on Friday, which I don't really think worked out for us, so we were struggling a little bit on Friday afternoon. Today the car has been much better. In qualifying because of the heat – it was much hotter than this morning – the car is moving around a lot more. This place, it really reminds me of karting, because it's all about keeping the minimum speed up, especially through Ascari and Parabolica. So you're always listening to the engine revs through the apex and you know if you're quick or not. It's a really interesting place to drive. In Q3 I realised how much a tow makes. In practice we were getting tows but it was difficult to work out if it was actually quicker or not. But in Q3 it was and I was able to get a reasonable off Vettel, which surprisingly made a good difference.

Q:
Ferrari seem to have practiced the tow this morning and put it into effect, certainly for Felipe, this afternoon. Is that something McLaren considered?

Jenson Button:
No. That's something that we… well, personally, I feel it's very difficult to plan something like that. It's difficult to get it right. You concentrate too much on it, you can do, and you can get your breaking point wrong or something. It's a tricky one. The way that we did was much better, just finding traffic on the circuit, so it worked reasonably well.

Q:
Felipe, how much of a difference do you think it did make, having that tow?

Felipe Massa:
For me it was no different because I made my best lap without the tow. We were trying a lot to have a good direction for the two. It's never very easy to make that in qualifying but I think we were able to do a little bit in Q1 and Q2. Fernando helped me on the first try on Q3 but he was supposed to do his lap on the second time, I was supposed to help him on the second lap. And then we came in at the same. And then I was behind Vettel, he braked completely, he almost stopped his car in the second chicane. I passed him so I said I'd try, just to see, as I never did one lap without the tow. I think it was nice to try even knowing that I had already my first timed lap in Q3. I tried and I improved, so I was pretty happy to do that. The car worked quite well in the corners, so maybe you lose a bit on the straight but we were able to gain more in braking and cornering. I think it was good; it was a nice qualifying. Unfortunately, Fernando is not here because he had a problem with his car but he was very quick as well. Let's concentrate on the race tomorrow where I'm in this place, and I'm very happy to be here.

Q:
Yes, it's your best grid position of the year and here you are in front of the Italian fans, so very satisfied?

Felipe Massa:
Yeah, very satisfied it's in this place. But I'm happy and really looking forward to it. It's a very important race for us, a very important race for me. And I'm looking forward to a good race in front of these fantastic people, as Lewis just said.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.09.2012- Qualifying, 2nd position Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 pole position and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
08.09.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
08.09.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
08.09.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27

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