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Hungarian Grand Prix: 'I'm struggling', admits Button

After failing to make Q3 at the Hungaroring, McLaren's Jenson Button admitted that he was finding it impossible to get enough front end grip from the MP4-28.
Jenson Button has been spending the last few days talking up McLaren's prospects heading into the second half of the 2013 world championship season, even speculating whether an upturn in form might not see them challenge for a podium position at Spa, the first Grand prix after the August break.

Unfortunately it was back down to reality with a crunch on Saturday after qualifying at the Hungaroring, which saw him fail to make it through to Q3 as he slumped to 13th place on the grid for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"When we run fresh rubber, I can't get enough front-end in the car," Button revealed afterwards. "We're maxed out, so I'm struggling.

But the perennially optimistic Button was quick to find a silver lining to this latest cloud: "In a way, that's a positive, because it means we've introduced downforce to the rear of the car," he suggested. "And hopefully that situation will change for the race, when you can play around with things in the cockpit a little more, and there's generally less rear grip for everyone."

However, at the end of the day starting from the seventh row of the grid is not what the former world champion had in mind for Budapest.

“I'm a little disappointed as I'd hoped for a bit more here," he admitted. "I think that's because it's been difficult to balance the car, but, hopefully, we'll show a little bit more pace in the race," he said, adding that he was still confident that he'd be able to have some "fun" in the race.

His team mate Sergio Perez' day started off badly when he spun off at turn 11 in Free Practice 3 and crumpled his car, leaving his mechanics a lot of work to do in order to be ready for the start of qualifying. But ready it was, and Perez went on to make it through to Q3 ahead of his team mate - albeit by the skin of his teeth.

"First of all, I want to thank all the guys on the team, they did an amazing job to get the car turned around between FP3 and Q1 this afternoon," he said. "It was quite a big shunt but we still didn't lose any track-time. That was really impressive.

"At the beginning of Q1, I still felt a little bit uncomfortable with the car, which is why I only just made it through to Q2," he continued. "However, my Q2 lap was quite good."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.07.2013- Free practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 recovered after the crash
27.07.2013- Qualifying, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
27.07.2013- Qualifying, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
27.07.2013- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
27.07.2013- Free practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
26.07.2013- Free practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

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July 28, 2013 6:54 AM

Nothing new in this, Button has a history of struggling to qualify well regardless of the car. At least he has an excuse this season of having a very poor car. He has dropped right down the pecking order and is little better than an also ran at the moment. Mclaren need to hire a driver who can extract the best out of the car all the time because Button seldom does.

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