Q & A with Jenson Button

Q. Are you happy with your result in Spain?

Q & A with Jenson Button

Jenson Button: Yes I am. It was an interesting race, the first stint for me was not great. I was struggling with a twitchy rear end but my strategy was to go long so I wasn't too worried. I thought the pace compared to Rubens was fine and the second stint is when the car came good.

When the circuit gripped up, it gave the car more rear grip which it would normally, and I had a good balance. I think the first stint the aero balance wasn't quite right and that was just getting used to it I think.

The last two stins were very good with the car, I was able to push it very hard and the laptimes were very consistent. It was great to get some points, we learnt a lot from the race, there is a lot of very useful data there but obviously I have got to say sorry for Rubens losing his front wing and I have heard that Heikki is okay which is good news.

Q. With the car going well in Barcelona, are things looking good for the rest of season?

JB: This sort of circuit is probably not our best at the moment. It is very bumpy, and if you look at our ride quality it is not our best feature at the moment. Considering we did okay here, in Turkey we should make another step forward compared to our competitors, if you watch the footage you will see what I mean about our ride quality. That is an area we need to improve in, going to Turkey it is a very smooth track anyway so that should help us.

It was a good weekend in the end, I struggled at the start of the weekend because of a lack of experience of this aero package, and it is very different to what the car was like before, it is a very different way of driving and a different way of setting it up, so it took a bit of time to get used to. I am there now and it is nice to get three points and it is great for the team. We didn't just sneak a point, we got three.

Q. In terms of improving, are you on schedule with the progress of the car, or ahead of schedule? Is this what you expected?

JB: I think we are pretty much where we expected. We started the race much further down than I was hoping for. I was hoping to be in the top ten and it would have made life easier for ourselves, but as I said I don't think this circuit is the best circuit for us and I didn't get the best out of the car over the weekend before the race because I didn't feel comfortable with the balance and I don't think we really got the best balance with this car.

When the circuit gripped up the car came good, and I think it showed we were trying to run too much aero balance, we were trying to have too much front end on the car to get rid of understeer but it is not working it is just giving us a twitchy rear end, so the important thing is we understand the aero package a lot more now and going to Turkey I am looking hopefully to get into the points again.

Q. Did the safety car affect your race?

JB: It really did because I was running long, so it really did cause a problem and being behind my teammate it will always be a nightmare in the pit stop behind the SC because you have to wait for them, and I lost two places in the pitstop because I had to wait for Rubens, lost it to Fisichella and Nakajima, it didn't matter in the end because we beat them, but maybe we would have been a bit close to Webber. I finished 17 seconds behind him because we wound everything down for the final stint.

Q. Are these points well-deserved?

JB: There were quite a few retirements for sure, we cannot forget that, but we finished 15 or 16 seconds behind Webber and that was with a safety car that really did cost me a lot of time and a lot of positions, so for me I am happy with the race.

The first stint was the area where I was lacking in speed because we didn't have the right balance but I think the car has improved and I think ther eis more to come just working with the car as it is, not adding bits. Understanding the aero more for when we go to turkey. Turkey is a circuit I love, and it should suit the car a little bit better than this place does.

Rubens came out of the pitstop and Fisi hit him and he lost his front wing, and because I had to wait for Rubens they light-fuelled Fisi, they didn't put much fuel in, I came out and then he came across and didn't give me much room, we actually touched and I almost headbutted the light system, and he got me on the exit because I was on the dirty side.

We ended up with three points, and in a way I was a little bit surprised as I was 13th after the safety car, so we did a good job. I think our pace was very good in the second and third stint, the last lap showed that, I was fifth quickest on the final lap I thought I would push on the final lap to see what we could do.

Q. Are regular points now achieveable?

JB: I think Turkey will be a bit better than here, the performance. But you've got to look at the performance compared to everyone that finishes and if the two McLarens, the two Ferraris and the two BMWs don't have issues then that leaves two points for everyone else to fight over.

Then you have Alonso and you have Webber who are the two people you are fighting against, and maybe Trulli. It is going to be a lot more difficult if everyone finishes in Turkey to get points but if you look at our pace compared to our competitors you will see we are more competitive.

Q. Is the car now giving you confidence?

JB: I picked up a lot of rear grip in the second stint and the car felt more normal, and then the third stint with the prime tyre I did a couple of quick laps to get some time on Nakajima and I backed off 1.5 seconds per lap and I pushed on the last lap and did a good lap time. There are areas we need to improve with the balance but it is a right direction.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Author Jonathan Noble
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