F1 »

Belgian Grand Prix: McLaren happier in wet conditions than dry

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez both reported that the McLaren MP4-28A was handling better in the damp morning conditions than it did when the track dried up in the afternoon.
If there's any sign of strange activity in the McLaren garage this weekend then it might just be the team getting their rain dance warmed up for race day, as it appears that the MP4-28A is performing better in wet conditions than dry at Spa-Francorchamps.

"Our drivers appeared to prefer our car's balance this morning in FP1 when the track surface was slippery," confirmed team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "This afternoon, in FP2, when it was warmer and drier, they were rather less comfortable."

Sergio Perez agreed: "Today we had a very good first session, but a more difficult second session," he said. "That was a bit of a surprise for us, because this morning the car felt very strong and very fast, and I was very happy with its balance. But this afternoon, as I say, it was a little less consistent."

“For me, FP1 was very good, and I was very happy with the car," said Perez' team mate Jenson Button. "The balance was good and I think our pace was good, too. I didn't push very hard in the wet sectors, but in the dry as I say it felt very good.

"[In the] afternoon, however, it felt different. It's obviously a result of the warmer temperatures, and perhaps the wind also, so we've got a lot of work to do to understand why that is. Hopefully, we'll work it all out and things will be better for us [on Saturday]," he added.

"We've duly gathered a lot of data, which we'll number-crunch this evening in an effort to prepare our cars for qualifying tomorrow," contributed Whitmarsh. “As ever here at Spa, though, the weather will be an unpredictable factor both tomorrow and on race day, but it'll be the same for everyone ... No-one can claim with any confidence that he or she can make accurate weather forecasts about the Ardennes micro-climate, so let's see what the next days bring."

Despite the headaches involved in trying to second-guess the weather, Jenson Button was clearly thrilled to be back at the historic Spa circuit once again.

"It's great to be back at Spa – the circuit is simply stunning!" he enthused. "It's one of the best circuits for a driver, so fast and flowing. You have true racing fans here too, which is fantastic to see.

"Okay, the circuit is a bit unforgiving, but in a way I don't mind that. I think we've lost a bit of that element with some of the newer circuits we've seen arrive on the calendar over the past few years. The old classics are the ones that really remind me why I love this sport so much - here, Monza, Suzuka, etc.”

Button will be hoping that with or without rain over the weekend, his love of Spa translates into a much-needed strong performance for the Woking-based team, which has said that it's seeking to extend Button's contract when it expires at the end of the current season. (See separate story.)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
26.03.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren.
26.03.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren.
26.03.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren.
26.03.2015 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren.
26.03.2015 - Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
26.03.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
26.03.2015 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
26.03.2015 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
26.03.2015 - William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team
26.03.2015 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
26.03.2015 - The helmet of Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
26.03.2015 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2015 - Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.