8 November 2014
F1 Brazilian Grand Prix: Button 'surprised' to be fifth on grid
McLaren's Jenson Button buoyed after taking fifth on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix
Jenson Button has admitted he is “a little bit surprised” after putting his McLaren fifth on the grid during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Button had a dismal Friday and felt they were “nowhere”, however, changes overnight saw him go sixth quickest in final practice this morning and he then maintained that form through qualifying. Indeed he managed to grab a place on the third row, 'best of the rest' after the two Mercedes' and two Williams' ahead, although it was extremely tight from P5 to P10, with just 0.169 seconds between the six cars.
“I think for us, we are probably a little bit surprised to be in front of both Red Bulls and both Ferraris and it is good to see,” Button said after qualifying for the penultimate round in the 2014 F1 World Championship. “It is good to see slight improvements every race.
“It wasn't looking that good yesterday, but we have pulled it back and I think we have done a good job of executing the Saturday well. I am happy that we have pulled together and have improved the car. That is a big part of this weekend for us because we started pretty poor.”
Looking to the race, if it is dry, Button added that he expects there to be lots of stops, given the soft tyre didn't hold up very well on Friday.
“I think it [the soft tyre] is not lasting very long,” he confirmed. “Some cars it is a bit better than others, but looking at yesterday it was terrible for everyone. A couple of cars did option runs this morning with high fuel and because of the cooler temperatures you would expect the tyre to last for longer, but it didn't seem too. It is a tricky one to judge, but I think we will be using a lot of tyres tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Magnussen will start seventh in the sister car, directly behind Button, his best lap just 0.039 seconds off his team-mate and only 0.031 seconds off Sebastian Vettel in P6.
“This weekend has been a bit tricky – the option tyre proved quite difficult to switch on over a single lap, which meant it was a bit strange that I could not improve on my time when I did my final run in Q3,” said Magnussen. “It just did not feel like the tyres were working on the first lap. That is a shame because it was very close out there.
“If it is dry tomorrow, it looks like there will be quite a few pit-stops,” he added, echoing what JB said, “which could offer up more opportunities than usual for us to move forward. However, it also looks like it could maybe rain tomorrow, which will make it even more unpredictable, so we will see what happens. Whatever happens, I think we can have a strong race.”
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