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Belgian GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2

1 September 2012



QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Adrian Huber - EFE)
Pastor, would you be happy repeating this position tomorrow and being on the podium or are you aiming for a win?

Pastor Maldonado:
I think we need to go for the best we can do. For sure it's going to be important to be on the podium, it's going to be important to score some points tomorrow but if we can go for more, we will do so.

Q: (Simon Cass - Daily Mail)
Jenson, presumably it's going to be quite difficult for you to be the sporting role for Lewis tomorrow, given your positions on the grid. How irritating has that talk been for you and just how easy has it been for you to focus on the rest of the season, just in terms of forgetting all the talk about where you are in the championship and making sure you're in a position to win races?

Jenson Button:
Obviously not that difficult. It's halfway point and maybe we haven't had enough to talk about over the five week break so you get asked unusual questions and very unusual for this point in the season. It's part of F1 and I've experienced it before. The important thing is that within the team we've got a very good relationship and we're working together to build the best car we possibly can and on the weekends trying to extract everything from it. Today is a very good day for us, and I'm sure Lewis is disappointed to be where he is but for me, a great day and hopefully this makes our life a little bit easier tomorrow but still, as I said, we really don't know what's going to happen in the race here. We missed Friday because of the weather and it's going to be difficult to know what the consistency is of everyone here. A little bit unknown, but we'll run through everything tonight, every scenario I'm sure and make sure we're ready for tomorrow.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
How crucial is it for you to win this race tomorrow, trying to come back and catch up some of the guys who are ahead of you?

Jenson Button:
It's very important. A lot of people have asked me if I can still fight for the championship. It is a long shot; I'm 80 points behind Fernando. I need to be on the podium and finishing in front of Fernando at every race for the rest of the season, which is not easy, given his consistency but this is a good start. Yeah, a win is very important tomorrow, to fight for the championship.

Q: (Leonid Novozhilov - F1 Live)
Jenson, how do you motivate yourself today before qualification?

Jenson Button:
Same as always. You know, I'm doing the best job in the world. I get to drive F1 cars every other weekend. It's something that we all dream about as kids, I think. It's easy to motivate yourself, especially when you're working with a team like McLaren, a team with such history and a team that really is behind its drivers and supporting them all the way. And also when you have your friends and family that come here to support you it makes a big difference. It was pretty easy to motivate myself and also it was such a long break for us to get back in the car is a really really good feeling. Nothing leaves you; you don't forget how to drive but there's a little bit more of a buzz there when you jump back in. We were unable to really use that yesterday because of the weather but today it was great to actually push a F1 car to the limits. I enjoyed today very much.

Q: (Oana Popoiu - F1Zone.net)
Pastor, you were talking about ups and downs this season. What is the reason for your bad races? Do you think it was pushing or not pushing too hard?

Pastor Maldonado:
I think we still need to push hard. Yes, I've been involved in many accidents and a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the season, but the most important thing is to be competitive, to be consistent from now to the end. I think we have everything to do that and concentrate on this second part of the season. The team is pushing hard as well so everything looks quite good for us so I'm looking forward to the end of the season.

Q: (Pierre van Vliet - F1i.com) Kamui and Pastor: do you think that the fact that you are not title contenders compared to your direct rivals tomorrow... can you take advantage of that, maybe taking more risks than others?

Kamui Kobayashi:
I'm not going to take any risks, of course. Races are something different. Starting second I think is not a risk, it's quite important, it will be important to manage the race. I definitely have to say it's not a risk race, we need to manage it well tomorrow.

Pastor Maldonado:
I think it's difficult for me to predict the races but starting from a very good position off the grid, for sure the points will be important for the team, it will be important for me as well, so I will always try to do my best against top teams and even Sauber and whichever team is fighting with us. But for sure, again I repeat it will be very important to be in the points tomorrow.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport) Jenson, you already mentioned there was restricted practice time. What do you think is the biggest question mark for tomorrow: the tyre degradation, the choice of tyres later on in the race or whether the choice of set-up with less or more downforce is the right one?

Jenson Button:
All of that. We're not sure whether we've got the right downforce for tomorrow. Our straightline speeds seem pretty good which is important for the race, especially when you've got a lot of fuel on board but then the negative is,you spend a lot of time in the middle sector. Possibly you can damage the tyres more with less downforce but maybe that's not the case. Maybe with more downforce you generate more heat so I don't know, we have to wait and see. It's all very unknown at the moment. I think the important thing is that I thought we expected the guys with higher downforce to maybe be quicker compared to us in qualifying. It's a nice feeling being on pole by three tenths and these guys are obviously still pretty quick in a straight line compared to others but it's nice to have that advantage.

Q: (Vladimir Rogovets - Znamya Ynosty)
Jenson, for the last three years, your friend Sebastian Vettel was very often in the press conference on this day. Today he is missing. Do you like this situation and what would you like to say to comfort him today?

Jenson Button:
Nothing! I'm not the person to be comforting Sebastian Vettel. I think he's eleventh on the grid, is that correct? I've started worse than that and finished on the podium so it doesn't mean his weekend is over, it does mean that it's a lot more difficult than maybe it was for him last year, starting on pole. He'll still be quick. There are many places to overtake here. I think we'll still see Sebastian fighting for some very good points.

Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer)
Jenson, earlier on in Q1, we heard you complaining about understeer and then seconds later, top of the time sheets, you were really fast on it and stayed that way. What happens? Is this the tyres coming in or psychologically you just think sod it and you get on with it and do the business?

Jenson Button:
I wish it was that easy. Especially with these temperatures and limited running it's been difficult to get the tyres in the working range. This morning it was the other way around, they were working very well and then later on in the run they weren't working so well. In Q1 it was the other way around: lap one, I just had no front grip at all as you probably heard me say, and then it was better on lap three. It's really difficult to understand how hard to push on an out lap and also if you're doing a three lap run, on the second lap how hard to push, whether you should put more heat into the tyres, the bulk or the surface. It's not just drive round as fast as you can any more. It was good to get the balance today and get it right.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Kamui, you are one of the drivers that people love the most because you are always attacking everything. Lately there are a lot of rumours - even from the fans - that would like to have you in Ferrari next year. Is it something you are thinking of, considering?

Kamui Kobayashi:
It's the first time I hear that. Nobody has told me, so I'm really surprised to hear that. At the moment, after the holiday, our results compared to our speed of the car, I'm not very happy with how many points we've scored, so I am focusing on the last nine races to score more and still, of course, nobody's discussed about next year so it's not a bit too late and of course there's a good option to stay with Sauber as well, but we never know what's a surprise. Definitely my target is focusing on my races for the last nine races.


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