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McLaren hails 'truly brilliant pole' by Button

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was thrilled by Jenson Button's 'brilliant' performance in qualifying at Spa, which came out of the blue after the lack of set-up track time.
Whatever level of success McLaren were expecting to have in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, it was clear that Jenson Button's performance had blown the doors well and truly off.

“That was a truly brilliant pole lap by Jenson," said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "His first for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and he's now in extremely good shape for tomorrow's race ... He'll be gunning for victory tomorrow!"

McLaren had seemed wary if not actively downbeat early in the session when Lewis Hamilton had struggled to match the early pace of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.

"This morning, in FP3, neither Jenson nor Lewis was entirely comfortable with the balance or feel of their cars," admitted Whitmarsh. "A situation that was perhaps compounded by a complete lack of dry running all day yesterday.

"For this afternoon, then, on a bone-dry track, following the issues we'd encountered in FP3 this morning, clearly we had to make some changes," he revealed. "We duly did so, in consultation with our drivers, and, as things panned out, the changes we made to Jenson's car paid off the better of the two."

Button was on the pace from the start despite early complaints about understeer, and he was only bested when Pastor Maldonado switched to the option tyres late in Q1 while Button remained on the harder primes. But Hamilton continued to toil for the rest of the qualifying session, and finally only managed eighth place in the crucial final Q3 round.

"Today was a bit of a disappointment," admitted Hamilton. "But since I'm still in the top ten, tomorrow will be about trying to make the most of things.

"Our side of the garage was a bit unlucky," he continued. "We chose the wrong rear wing, preferring to stay with the version we used in Hungary. The wing we'd been using in FP3 this morning hadn't been working very well, so we opted to go back to the older wing which we thought would be the safer option.

"It was a collective choice: we thought the older wing would be quicker in qualifying, but in fact Jenson has shown the new wing to be very good indeed," he admitted. "Congratulations to Jenson - he did an excellent job and I hope he gets maximum points tomorrow."

Button, of course, was jubilant at finally clinching his first pole position since his move to McLaren.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
27.07.2012- Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
29.07.2012- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - McLaren MCL32, detail
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
11.06.2017- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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wheeltowheel - Unregistered

September 01, 2012 10:49 PM

PolePosition Happily, you are not in charge at Woking. Martin is. He has laboured the point repeatedly that McLaren really wants Lewis to stay at the team. In praising Jenson for the brilliant pole position he has stated, yet again, that McL has the best driver line up in F1. You can not, for one second, claim that MW is biased and favours Jenson. It is utter rubbish to say that. Even Lewis praised Jenson's performance and wished him well for the race. Why can't you just be pleased for JB and a great performance. Go Jenson.

me - Unregistered

September 01, 2012 7:28 PM

Pole Position.... I feel sure that once your feelings are made known to McLaren, Whitmarsh will be on his way!. Has it never occured to you that perhaps, just perhaps, Jenson is nicer and easier to get along with than Lewis?. If that is the case you would have to be a robot not to warm to him wouldn't you?

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