The efforts of both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez at the race this afternoon showed great promise from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, as the 2008 World Champion said that he would have been in the top five, had it not been that “the two Caterhams fighting in front of me in the closing laps probably cost me fifth place.”
He was critical of both Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, stating that “when you’re fighting for position, you expect the backmarkers to move over, even if they’re fighting for position themselves. It’s a shame – those points could be so important for us later in the season.”
But the strengths of the MP4-28 were improved greatly this weekend, as the pace of both cars was clear to see, even though Button was quick to mention that the Safety Car period didn’t really help that much,and even though they have closed the gap to Sahara Force India, there is more still to come from Woking: “We can be positive – as a team, we didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, and we got the best out of what we have. Overall, it’s a positive day for the team – now we just need to find some more pace in the car.”
Perez was happy about the fact that the race in German was “a good step on from Silverstone,” as the young Mexican driver hopes that another major leap forward can be made in time for Hungary in three weeks’ time.
“My car performed a lot better today than it did yesterday,” said the McLaren driver, who finished in P8, bringing home some welcome points for the team. “We had better pace and degradation than we’d expected: we managed a very long final stint, and I think we maximised everything today. We should be happy.
“After the Safety Car, it was like the start of a second race. I just focused on preserving the tyres over that long stint – the car and tyres performed very strongly, but we just lost out on the final corner. It was always going to be difficult to hold Mark Webber back.”
Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh was really happy with the efforts of both drivers during the race, as “they managed the limits of the tyre, pushed aggressively when it was needed and were always able to maximise the pace of the car.”
He also was in agreement about traffic in the late part of the race, agreeing with Button;s stance on the matter, especially as a points finish could have been maximised fully: “”That was a little bit frustrating: we had terrible traffic at the end, so Jenson lost a couple of seconds at a critical point in the race. That enabled Lewis [Hamilton] to close him down quicker than normal and take a position that we felt we could have kept.”
He also complimented the entire team for their valiant efforts, which brings a further depth of wanting resolve and clear motivation for the rest of the year, which means there is more to come from the MTC’s hard work in the very near future: “The whole team did an extremely good job today: our strategy was perfectly managed, our pitstops were faultless, and the engineers maximised the pace of the car.
“We raced well, but we’re still not where we want to be, although there are positives to take away from today. We’ll be putting out heads down during the three-week break before Hungary and will be aiming to capitalise on the momentum we’ve gathered this weekend.”
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic (c)