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Button: Don't expect too much

Jenson Button: It's been a very difficult weekend so far, but 10th is a strong result for us today...
McLaren's Jenson Button has warned people shouldn't expect too much from them in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix - although he does believe both cars have a 'chance' of scoring points.

Button just scraped into the final qualifying session on Saturday, but in the end elected not to set a time in the top-ten shootout, aborting his lap late on.

The Briton will thus line-up in tenth place, and while he was pretty jubilant at having made it through Q2, he conceded race day will be 'tough'.

“It's been a very difficult weekend so far,” Button remarked, “but tenth is a strong result for us today. The team is used to fighting at the front, but it's the little things – like getting through into Q3 – that can make a positive difference.

“Of course, it's going to be a tough race tomorrow, though. I'll race as quickly as I can, but I don't want people to expect too much from us.

“However, there are positives to be drawn from today: we out-qualified a Lotus, which was a surprise, and I'll be driving the first car starting on new tyres tomorrow. As in China, that brings a slight strategic advantage, so I'm hoping we can have another decent outing. I think we've both got a chance of scoring points – it would be great for both of us to finish in the top ten tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez meanwhile will start twelfth in the sister MP4-28 - his best lap in Q2 a 1m 33.914s, which was around two tenths off Button. Like his team-mate he is anticipating a hard Sunday, although he also believes a top-ten finish will be possible.

“Qualifying was very difficult, and it was disappointing to miss out on getting into Q3 by just a few tenths,” said the Mexican. “We didn't really have the pace to get any further up the grid, though; I think Jenson showed the maximum that was possible for us in Q2 today.

“Still, we're in a better position to fight for points tomorrow. I've set my car up to look after its rear tyres, so I think our race pace should be a bit more consistent. It's still going to be hard to get into the points tomorrow, but I hope we can have an okay race and make it into the top ten. But it's going to be a long, hard race.”

“Both Jenson and Checo did a very disciplined job out there today,” summarised McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh. “Going into this race weekend, we knew it was going to be difficult for us – this is a rear-limited circuit, a characteristic that accentuates the weaknesses we have with our car. Still, those circumstances required patience and hard work, and I think the drivers and the engineers got the best from a package that's more limited on a circuit like this.

“Jenson's lap in Q2 was a phenomenal effort and allowed him to get through to Q3. While that's not what anybody at McLaren is used to accepting, we acknowledge that these are currently difficult times, and that lap was a welcome fillip. Equally, Checo drove extremely well in Q2, and was just a couple of tenths shy of Jenson's top-ten effort. As in China last weekend, our efforts are primarily focused towards aiming for a decent result in the race tomorrow.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
19.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28

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Ben - Unregistered

April 20, 2013 8:02 PM

Button going from "I can still win the championship" to "Don't expect too much out of us" shows good progress My advice to Button the last time was that it's good to be optimistic, but it's better to be realistic. Given his current form and that of his entire team, the only way to boost his morale is to set realistic goals (which is about 8th or 9th on the grid) and have everyone say good things about him if he finished the race in a higher position. The opposite only hurts him. Bad fortunes endured by some drivers (not strategy) gave Button 5th place at the end of last race in China. Given their current pace, Massa, Webber and Rosberg (beside the top 4 finishers in China) should normally finish ahead of Button, no matter what strategy McLaren uses. It's like someone trying to convince me that Marussia can outpoint McLaren with the optimum strategy. Realistically, the best position for Button currently is 8th, behind Kimi,the 2 Ferrari, the 2 Red Bulls and the 2 Mercedes. Luckily for

Ben - Unregistered

April 20, 2013 8:07 PM

Luckily for McLaren, Grossjean is slow in getting up to speed. And if McLaren is not careful, they might just wake up and find the Force India ahead of them.

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