McLaren F1 drivers Button and Alonso split on Italian GP Q3 chances

McLaren Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are split on whether the team can qualify in the top 10 on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix

McLaren F1 drivers Button and Alonso split on Italian GP Q3 chances

Both world champions made it into the top 10 during Friday practice, with Alonso seventh and Button 10th, the latter feeling he could have gone faster if he wasn't held up by Kimi Raikkonen.

When asked about the prospect of making it to Q3 on Saturday, Button said: "We're not doing anything different to what we normally do on a Friday so it's definitely possible.

"This is definitely the toughest circuit for us, so today's pace isn't too bad.

"There's still room for improvement on one lap, we're getting there and there are a lot of things to go through tonight in the data.

"The long run pace is OK, still needs some work before we are properly competitive and can fight for good points.

"A bit of work this evening and hopefully we can be a bit stronger tomorrow."

Alonso, however, believes McLaren staying in the top 10 when it counts would be a surprise.

"We didn't expect both cars to be in the top 10 here, so definitely that's good news," said the Spaniard.

"But we need to keep our feet on the ground because tomorrow in qualifying we know that we slip a little bit backwards.

"Hopefully we can be close to Q3 but I think if we are in Q3 that would be a surprise because we don't expect to do so."

ENGINE QUESTION MARKS

Despite McLaren's obvious progress at power-dependent circuits Spa and Monza, Alonso still feels Honda needs to make big gains for 2017.

"We have a very different winter coming, where the regulation changes will make a massive difference," he said.

"We are happy and confident with the chassis side, we can do a good job and close the gap to Mercedes.

"The engine side is a question mark.

"We are still a long way behind the top engines so we need to make a bigger step over the winter."

shares
comments
Red Bull further behind Ferrari than expected at Italian Grand Prix

Previous article

Red Bull further behind Ferrari than expected at Italian Grand Prix

Next article

Haas F1 team believes it can develop drivers for Ferrari

Haas F1 team believes it can develop drivers for Ferrari
Load comments
The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021