20 September 2013
Singapore Grand Prix: Button pretty happy with P7
Jenson Button: This afternoon the car felt better, but it's strange how much of a difference there seems to be between the tyres.
McLaren driver Jenson Button has said he was 'pretty happy' to finish seventh in Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Button was only 14th in the opening session as he worked through a development package.
However, he found more pace in P2, posting a 1 minute 45.754 second lap, which left him sandwiched between the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.
Reflecting on his day at the wheel of the troublesome MP4-28, the 2009 F1 world champion added that he'd actually be happy with P7 in qualifying too.
“This morning was about getting used to the circuit again, putting laps on the car and doing aero comparisons. This afternoon the car felt better, but it's strange how much of a difference there seems to be between the tyres,” Button stated.
“I found about 3.0s from my Prime run to my Option run. On the long runs at the end of FP2, the Option tyre felt good; but, as soon as we put the Prime tyre on, there was lower grip and we struggled to get good balance. On the plus side, though, the ride has been good and we haven't had the rear-end bouncing that we had earlier in the year. So, overall, I'm pretty happy with P7. I wouldn't mind being P7 on the grid, in fact. I don't think that's too bad for us right now.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez meanwhile was eighth in P1 and tenth in P2, his best time leaving him 0.271 seconds off the sister car.
“It was an interesting day, testing the two compounds Pirelli brought here. It's the first time this year we've had such a difference between the two compounds – nearly 3.0s – so to get the balance right was pretty difficult. We're in decent shape here, though,” continued the Mexican. “But obviously a lot depends on how we fare in qualifying.”
“In many ways this circuit is completely different from any other track we've visited so far this season,” he added. “Having said that, we're using a very similar aero package to what we had in Hungary, and we hope we'll be reasonably competitive in that configuration. Unlike Hungary, though, it's a street circuit, which means the driver can sometimes make a bigger difference on a single qualifying lap, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow for that reason.”
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