Button talks to AUTOSPORT.com

Q: How was the first start?

Button talks to AUTOSPORT.com

"It wasn't too bad. It could have been a lot better, but I got a bit too much wheelspin I think. "

Q: Was the start a major concern beforehand?

"Obviously they were concerned about stalling at the start. I thought I would give it a bit more than I would normally, rev-wise. I'd rather have a bit more wheelspin that actually stall on the grid. That's the way it happened, and it wasn't too bad actually."

Q: You must have been anxious about keeping out of trouble on the first lap?

"Oh, definitely. They all spoke to me, and Gerhard especially was talking about that. Luckily I found some gaps to overtake as well on the first lap, which was a surprise to me. It was good - it was an exciting first three laps."

Q: What have you learned today that you didn't know yesterday?

"About long distance - I've never driven a long distance like that before. It didn't really cause a problem. I hurt my arm a little bit, but nothing major. It's been a good day."

Q: People were saying he's not fit enough, but this was a very tough test.

"Definitely. But actually driving a F1 car is the best fitness training. Outside a racing car I'm very, very fit I think. Obviously I proved today that I could do a long distance in a racing car, and I could have gone to the finish no problem. I was still concentrating. I wasn't feeling dizzy or anything. I was feeling very confident of finishing on a high."

Q: You probably couldn't admit it at the time, but how much did Saturday's accident knock your confidence?

"I wasn't worried. I don't get nervous when I go off, I just don't want to do it again. The main thing was I was a bit disappointed in myself. We had two 45 minute sessions of testing, which I missed out on, and everybody else had, so we went straight into qualifying with no real practice."

Q: And this morning in the warm-up they just let you have a go?

"This morning it was good actually. We had a high fuel load and low fuel load, and it went well. We made a few changes for the race, obviously for the long distance."

Q: Obviously everyone's asking you, but was there anything about this weekend which you found surprising? Was it easier than expected?

"Definitely not easier..."

Q: Were you surprised by the press interest in you?

"Yes, you lot - how many there are of you! It's unbelievable - well amazing."

Q: When you saw P6 for the first time, did that give you an extra buzz?

"It did. A few people have told me I was actually up fourth at one point before the pit stop. It's good to see P6 on the board and know you've got a point. Then I looked in the mirrors and there was Zonta coming up at a huge rate of knots. But again when you catch cars it's much more difficult to actually overtake, as I found as well."

Q: What went through your mind when you retired?

"Obviously it would have been nice to get points. One of the cars finished, which is important, and I almost got there, so I should be happy."

Q: Have you answered the critics who said you weren't ready?

"Yeah, I think so. But that wasn't really my aim. I wanted to do the best job I can for myself and for the team, and I think I did that, and the team did a good effort. Hopefully when I get home a few people will be happy, including my family and friends."

Q: Have you exchanged any words with your dad yet?

"Yes, I have. I gave him a big hug. He said 'I'm amazed, and I'm not normally like that with you.' It was really good. I better go now..."

With that Jenson was off, dragged away to another TV interview. Believe me, we have not heard the last of this young man.

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