2 September 2012
McLaren hails 'masterful' drive by Button
McLaren were jubilant with Jenson Button's dominant performance at Spa this weekend, calling his lights-to-flag run in the lead a 'masterful' and 'majestic' performance.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh could scarcely find enough words with which to lavish praise on 2012 F1 Belgian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button, after he led from start to finish to claim his second win of the year.
"Jenson performed quite majestically all weekend," said Whitmarsh as the team celebrated Button's victory. "In so doing, he made it look easy. But when a driver manages a race win from pole position, leading all the way, the excellence of his performance isn't always as obvious as when he wins it by attacking from behind.
"Jenson has been super-quick all weekend, and he controlled the race with total authority, managing tyre wear masterfully all the way," added Whitmarsh. "It wasn't easy, even if it looked that way, and I'm extremely proud of him, as is everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes."
Disappointed though he was about his first turn exit from the race, even Lewis Hamilton was trying to look on the bright side and join in the celebrations.
"I want to offer my congratulations to Jenson," he said. "I watched the whole race on TV and he did an absolutely brilliant job. It's great for him and fantastic for the team. "It also gives me huge confidence, going into the next race, knowing that our car has got fantastic pace," he added.
"If we can get it right on our side of the garage, then we ought to be capable of scoring a strong result in Monza," he said. In fact, I'm already channelling all my energy into doing just that."
Hamilton said that he really didn't want to talk about the events at the start, or what he said when he confronted Romain Grosjean among the wreckage at La Source, saying that everyone could see what had happened an that it had been a shame given the prospects for a good race for McLaren from both drivers.
“It's been a difficult day for me – my race was so short that I didn't even break a sweat out there," he said. "This wasn't a great day for my world championship hopes either, but I certainly won't be giving up."
"The accident was a great shame for Lewis, and for the other innocents whose races were also ruined, but that's motor racing," said Whitmarsh, adding that Lewis had been "entirely blameless" for what had happened.
For Whitmarsh, the best thing about Button's peerless performance at Spa was that it carried on the momentum that the team had felt building prior to the long August break and given them back to back victories.
"We take a great many positives from the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix – not least the fact that we won it, which means that we've now won two grands prix on the trot," he said. "Our car is clearly very quick. Now, we aim to take that impressive form forward to Monza, where, in just a few days' time, we'll be aiming to score a hat-trick."
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