6 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: There's a little more pace in the car, says Button
Jenson Button: There are a lot of cars only narrowly ahead of us – it's extremely close out there. So we're going to work as hard as we can overnight.
Jenson Button reckons there is more to come from his McLaren and he is 'hoping' they will be able to extract that over the rest of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
Button finished in the top-ten in both practice sessions on Friday at Monza, his best lap a 1 minute 25.532 seconds, which left him ninth overall on the combined times, only a couple of tenths off Fernando Alonso, who was fifth.
“FP1 was actually better for us than FP2, when we weren't quite as competitive. Nevertheless, there's a little bit more pace in the car that I hope we'll be able to extract – so it would be nice to get through to Q3,” confirmed the 2009 F1 world champion.
“We changed quite a bit between the sessions today, and we think we know what works and what doesn't. It was a positive day in terms of understanding the car, actually.
“There are a lot of cars only narrowly ahead of us – it's extremely close out there. So we're going to work as hard as we can overnight. Having said that, we know that the race [and getting the set-up for Sunday] will be more important than qualifying.”
Button had an issue with his DRS in FP1, but he stated it wasn't a big deal: “Early on in FP1, my DRS stuck open – we use a completely different DRS system for Monza because it's a low-downforce circuit,” he explained. “The mechanism stuck open in the shroud – which was a mistake – but it was quickly fixed by the guys in the garage.”
Sergio Perez meanwhile also had a pretty good day, finishing sixth in FP1 and tenth in FP2 in the sister MP4-28. His best lap was a 1m 25.627s, which left him 0.095 seconds off Button.
“We managed to complete a very positive programme during both of today's sessions. In fact, we got through everything on our job-list today, which is a real positive,” said the Mexican. “As always at Monza, we tried varying levels of downforce – that's an important thing to get right here – but it's a very difficult decision to make around here.”
“Clearly, we need to make the right call for Sunday,” he continued. “In fact, as Jenson says, I don't really feel that qualifying tomorrow will be quite as important as it usually is; the key for us will be to engineer ourselves a good set-up, with a good strategy, for Sunday.
“So, in actual fact, we'll spend more time thinking about Sunday, and not so much looking at tomorrow. I'm not even too focused on getting into Q3, because I know our main aim will be about how we manage everything on Sunday.”
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