Q & A with Jenson Button
|By Simon Strang||Friday, June 19th 2009, 17:36 GMT|
Jenson Button's home grand prix is set to be overshadowed by the massive political row between the FIA and FOTA - and on the track it looks like he will be hard-pressed to overcome the Red Bulls, at least if Friday practice is anything to go by.
After the session he chatted to reporters about both the current controversies and his Silverstone prospects.
Q. Will you follow your team wherever it goes in 2010?
Jenson Button: Sure.
Q. You might be the last Formula 1 world champion.
JB: Well whoever wins it this year might the last Formula 1 world champion. But I'm not counting my chickens before they have hatched.
Q. You have looked less competitive on Fridays in the past and then gone fast on Saturday and Sunday. Is it the same this weekend?
JB: Well I don't lie. It hasn't been a good for many races now, but here it is very different. Even if we sort the car out we are not going to be as quick as the Red Bulls, they are just staggeringly quick around here. I don't think we are going to find that pace overnight. If it is warmer I think it will help our car because we not getting temperature in the tyres, but hopefully we can race the Red Bulls because that is what we are here to do.
Q. Do you put more pressure on yourself because it is the British Grand Prix?
JB: No not at all, because when you close your visor it is exactly the same as any other circuit. You want to do the best job you can and it would be nice to come away with a win from here. But the Red Bulls are very quick as they showed today and I'm not sure we will be able to catch them. We will try our hardest for sure.
Q. What kind of gift to you have planned for good old Jon on Father's day?
JB: I'm sure every driver is going to say they are trying to win the race.
It's not just my father's day on Sunday. I think his gift is being here and seeing his son race at the front of the field. He is a very happy man at the moment, so we will see what I have got to give him this weekend.
Q. Are you hoping for rain this weekend?
JB: We haven't driven in the wet since Shanghai, and we know our car will be much better than it was then in the wet. I would rather it was dry here. I think it's great, it's better for everyone if it's dry. You can still have good racing in the dry and I think it is so much better for the fans if it is a dry race here.
Q. What does it mean to drive here at Silverstone?
JB: It's a great feeling - well today wasn't so good because the car wasn't working for me. It's nice racing in your home country and in front of your fans. Hopefully we can have a good weekend, but if we don't we don't. In the big scheme of things winning here would be fantastic from the emotional side.
We will see what happens, at the moment we are not quick enough compared to the Red Bulls. We have just got to hope that we can improve the car and work long hours this evening to improve the car and make it competitive. I don't think it is going to get much warmer over this weekend, and the heat would help us because we are not getting any tyre temperature. We know the Red Bulls work very well with a low circuit temp.
Q. You were saying this sort of stuff at Monaco and look what happened there.
JB: It's not quite the same here. I'm a long way off of the Red Bulls and my team-mate Rubens at the moment. There is more time to come from the car and from me. We have got to try and find that and extract that from the car. But it is not going to be like the last few races where we suddenly pull it out of the bag in qualifying. We have just got to hope that we can improve the car and pick up good points this weekend. It might be a surprise tomorrow and then we are quick but we won't be as quick as the Red Bulls I don't think.
Q. Do you think the mods have taken them forward a bit.
JB: I don't know what mods they've had or maybe it's just that this type of circuit suits them. We've tried a few things and they haven't worked as we expected. I think a lot of it is just the wind, it is so windy out there, and I think it is effecting cars in different ways and not in a good way in our case. It's had a negative impact on us, so we have been trying a few different aero things and that is something we will look at tonight - and hopefully have a better car tomorrow.
Q. How does the car feel then with the wind?
JB: Well it's unpredictable and that's the problem. If it hits the side of the car you immediately lose front end grip, and you understeer into the corner. If the wind is behind you it is difficult to slow the car down and you pick up oversteer. If it's in front of you it helps you turn into the corner, but it can make the car more twitchy. So there are plenty of different ways. You need to know the wind direction before you go out, especially when it is so open like it is here. We know which direction the wind blew today and we know what it is going to be at the weekend so hopefully it will help our car.
Q. Would you rather the politics had happened any other weekend that the British Grand Prix?
JB: When you are driving it doesn't make any difference. You are focused and we've still got a lot of races this season and this is the world championship. When the people turn the TV on they look for good racing and that is exactly what we are going to try and do this weekend.
Q. Do you really believe there will be a split?
JB: I don't know. Who knows. I'm sure that every driver that is involved with a FOTA team agrees with what they have got to say and I think a lot of people agree with what they have got to say. As a driver you want to be racing against the best in the world and that's what I want to do at the moment. I want that to continue and with teams that have been doing it for many years.
Our team is a young team but it is full of people that have been around the sport for many years so in a way we are a very experienced team. To beat Ferrari in races is an amazing feeling and if we didn't have that situation next year it would be very different. So if racing against the best teams and drivers is what I want to be doing then I don't mind where it is. As long as we are racing – that is the key for me.