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Spanish Grand Prix 2013: 'Whatever we do will be difficult' - Button

Things weren't looking any better for McLaren this weekend in Spain, after Jenson Button failed to make Q3 - although Sergio Perez was a surprise top ten contender.
Sergio Perez pulled an out-of-nowhere flying lap in Q2 that shot him into the final round of qualifying, but no one was pretending that this disguised the deep problems McLaren are conspicuously going through this weekend in Barcelona.

The team had worked through the night at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday to try and get their jinxed MP4-28 upgraded with a raft of new aero parts, even sacrificing Jenson Button's track time in Friday Free Practice 1. In the end, the team couldn't get the new front wing installed and sufficiently tested in the remaining time to make it a justifiable risk for Saturday's qualifying session, putting Button and Perez on the back foot before a single wheel turned.

"We had a lot of parts on the car on Friday and frankly it was a disappointing day," admitted team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "Clearly we couldn't get the data we wanted because of the weather - the sensors would be filled with water.

"Today, although we have some new front wings here, without being able to check on their legality at the FIA facility at the end, which we were unable to do this morning, it's too big a risk to run them," he added.

That left Button floundering in Q2 in Spain, finishing down in 14th place on the grid after failing to progress to the third and final round of qualifying much to his disappointment.

"The car felt okay in Q1, but in Q2 I couldn't find the grip for my final run. It felt as though the tyre pressures may have been too high, but to be honest we're not yet quite sure exactly what happened," he admitted afterwards. "So tomorrow - from 14th on the grid - whatever we do will be difficult. It'll be a tricky afternoon, but we'll definitely do our best to make the best of it."

“Jenson had a difficult qualifying – and, although we haven't yet had a chance to examine his data thoroughly, it would appear that perhaps his tyre pressures may have been set a little too high," confirmed Whitmarsh.

"Whatever the problem turns out to have been, I'm certain that - had he felt comfortable in his car - he'd have been able to go through to Q3 as Checo did," Whitmarsh added, referring to the cause for cause for cautious optimism coming from the other side of the McLaren garage after Sergio Perez did manage to crack the top ten in the final seconds of Q2.

"I'm very pleased because I got absolutely everything out of the car," said the young Mexican after beating his senior team mate for the first time in qualifying since joining McLaren at the start of the year. "We'll go into the race tomorrow looking to maximise our potential. If we can manage that, I think we should be satisfied."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.05.2013- (L-D) Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
10.05.2013- Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
10.05.2013- Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes and Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
11.05.2013- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
11.05.2013- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
10.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
26.11.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Press conference, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11, Roberto Merhi (ESP) Manor Marussia F1 Team, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.11.2015 - McLaren Honda MP4-30, detail
26.11.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30 and his girlfrind Lara Alvarez (ESP)
26.11.2015 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30

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jim crint - Unregistered

May 12, 2013 6:00 AM

Modern F1 has become a sham of the sport it once was. All we want to see are the best drivers in the best cars at the top of their game. With no in-season testing, teams can no longer iron out problems and be as competitive as they might be if they could do that. At one time, teams practiced Thursday, Friday then qualified Saturday, could work on the cars the night before the race, and even had a morning warm-up before the race! It's become a nonsense! I hate DRS, I can't stand these ridiculous tyres, the lack of testin is a joke!

Oldtimer - Unregistered

May 12, 2013 7:52 AM

I agree with Jim, the entire show is a farce, F1 means it is the premier category in the world, unfortunately the reality is rather different. I have watched F1 since the early sixties and I've never been less interested than at present. The ridiculous tyres, DRS and KERS which apparently are for "IMPROVING" the racing. There is no proper racing everybody is doing a different stategy just to get to the finish. They were supposed to cut costs but what do they do, introduce gadgets to help make overtaking easy, I thought that was supposed to be down to the drivers skill, apparently not. In addition the rules cause teams to spend millions of pounds on increasingly complex aero solutions which they then can't test when they need to. The only thing that has cut costs is the engine and gearbox restrictions. What I would like to see is a free tyre choice and usage from dry/intermediate/wet, testing allowed as and when and a huge simpification of the aero rules and no gadgets and gismos. We n

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