Q & A with Jenson Button

Q. So what happened in qualifying?

Q & A with Jenson Button

Jenson Button: I locked up into Turn 7. The car hit the floor and I locked up and lost a lot of time. I locked both front tyres up and I ran wide, and from then on I had such a big flat spot that I wasn't going to gain any time. For some reason we weren't as quick in Q2 anyway as we were in Q1. Rubens was struggling as well, but he got through to Q3 and I didn't. Looking at our pace all weekend, we've been competitive and I felt very good in Q1.

Suddenly we were struggling a bit more in Q2, so it is difficult to know the reasons for that. Being back in 12th is disappointing. Rubens is just in front of me because of his gearbox change and probably on quite a bit less fuel, so there is still a lot we can do tomorrow. It is frustrating being so far back, and the Red Bulls are at the front. They still have a chance of challenging us in the championship, so we've made it very difficult for ourselves. That is all I have to say.

Q. There is a lot to do tomorrow, but what is the best you can hope for?

JB: I don't know. We have got to have a good first lap, otherwise we will be stuck behind slower cars - and I think our race will be very good. When you are stuck behind cars going very long it can be very difficult - and we don't know people's fuel loads - like what Kovalainen's on, or Nakajima. And if they are going to brim the cars, I don't know where we will be. So we need a good start and a healthy first lap.

Q. It was a strange qualifying for both you and Rubens. What were the emotions like?

JB: It's been a tough and a strange qualifying for us. We've had very good pace all weekend and it is strange to not be quick. I don't even think Rubens was happy with being P5. I think they expected more. So, with the fuel loads that he has on, I don't know if it is less than the people who are in front of him. We have to wait and see on that one, but he saved a couple of laps by making that mistakes.

But this is a circuit where we thought we would be very quick and so far in qualifying we haven't shown that. It is weird how things go and how races seem. Some races we are very quick and some circuits we struggle more, especially when we get to qualifying. It is the same with the Red Bulls. Mark has not scored in the last three races and while Vettel has, it is a lot less than he would have hoped. And they are now back strong. It is very up and down and a unique season for sure.

Q. How did the drop off in performance you found translate into where you were sitting?

JB: Q1 felt good. Yesterday was good for me. I had a good day yesterday, and this morning was very difficult. We tried a few things that didn't work, but in Q1 the car felt great. I was second quickest in Q1, which is pretty much where we thought we should be. We were struggling with understeer so I knew there was a bit more to come from the car, so I was happy. Then in Q2 we started on old tyres which was probably a mistake looking back at it now, but we thought we were safe.

The second one in Q2 we put the new tyres on. We came down on the front pressures to help the front grip. That, as well as me braking a touch later, the car hit the ground really hard and both front tyres locked at 280km/h. I had a massive flat spot and lost two or three tenths on that corner and it was game over really.

It was a tough session, and it felt strange the car considering in Q1 I had a really good balance. I was happy with it, I had a little bit of understeer we could have worked on which we thought we had in Q2 but it wasn't to be in Q2. Rubens had a good lap and got through, and did a good lap. But he was still six or seven tenths off Rosberg and it was surprising to be so off the pace on a circuit like this.

Also coming from the last couple of circuits, where the cars had a good amount of pace. It has been a very strange season and obviously the Red Bulls are back on form, their upgrades have helped then and their car work around here, which is a bit of a surprise for me. So, they are back in the hunt for sure but hopefully this will be the only race.

Q. Is it a difficult decision strategically tomorrow?

JB: Yes it is. If you brim it, and you do a one stop, then I don't think the soft tyres will hold up. You also put a lot of fuel in, and you drop so far behind the front pack that you are not going to get points anyway. But if you go too short and you are stuck behind someone going longer then you are screwed as well. So it is difficult for Rubens as well.

It is difficult for both of us, and it is pity that the Red Bulls are so far forward. In a way, they are not starting from pole position and second, which they may have done if they got their lap in in the end. I think they are stopping earlier than Lewis, because Lewis was on new tyres on his first lap in qualifying, and that is why he was quicker.

Q. Ross Brawn has said you are lacking stability with the option tyres. Have you experienced that phenomenon before, or just in Q2?

JB: No, I didn't have a problem. On lap one I was fine. If you watch the footage it was on my second timed lap that the rears went off, they have gone away after one lap. It was the front where I hit the ground and lost front grip. I was up on my best lap by a tenth and a half, and that was only four corners in. It was the lock up that lost me ground and I had massive flat spots, which cost me front grip.

Q. Can the Red Bull drivers be a threat again for the championship?

JB: A threat? Yes I think so. It is so up and down that it is really hard to predict who is going to be quick where. I said it was disastrous in an early interview when I got out of the car but that was emotion really. It is not disastrous. It is not perfect being back in 12th position, which makes it very difficult to score points here, and the Red Bulls from where they are can have a good race. It will be very difficult for them to beat Lewis, and I think Rosberg will be very quick also. It will not be a walk in the park for them for sure. It is good to see other cars are competitive.

Q. How hard is it for you mentally to deal with all the ups and downs?

JB: Well, it is all part of it and it is not the first time this season. You get used to it. I am fine, it is just frustrating the way that qualifying went, considering I thought we would be on the front row. It is frustrating, but it is what it is and we have to make the best out of it this weekend.

Q. How frustrating is it not being able to explain the change of form?

JB: It all comes down to us making things work on the four things that are touching the road. I am sure the Williams thought their new update was going to be good here, but I don't think they expected Nico to be two tenths quicker than anyone in the middle sector, and be quickest by a good chunk.

We didn't expect that and if you look at the times, it means he must have been running 80kg yesterday. So, it is very strange and people are finding it difficult with these tyres to work - but you have to make the best of it. Today we struggled and you can put some of it down to the fact that we dropped out of the window, but it is a window that we have to try and get back into with the car.

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