Jenson Button is happy with how his Friday at the Suzuka circuit panned out, feeling that the team have found a good balance on the prime compound Pirelli tyre. However, he believes that there is still work to do with the option tyre.
The Brit finished 11th in the opening session before moving into the top 10 for FP2. He is expecting cooler conditions for Saturday and Sunday and is cautious about the set-up that they decide to take. Discussing his Friday running he said: “It’s great to be out on the circuit. Throughout the day, we saw a lot of drivers making mistakes, but that’s the nature of this place – it’s unforgiving. Obviously, we don’t like to see accidents like Checo’s, but you appreciate that you have to respect this place.
“It’s been a relatively good Friday. We found a good balance on the Prime tyre, but still need to do some work with the Option, because we didn’t gain too much going from the harder tyre to the softer one.”
He added: “Nevertheless, while both compounds are working reasonably well, I believe there’s a cooler weather front coming in for tomorrow, so we need to be careful about the direction we take with the set-up to best cope with it.”
Meanwhile team-mate Sergio Perez suffered a hefty crash during the second session and admitted that it was driver error, getting onto the artificial grass on the run to Spoon Curve. Fortunately he was uninjured. The Mexican said: “My accident during FP3 was my error. I was setting the car up for the entry to Spoon, put my right-rear wheel onto the grass, and just lost the back end. At the speed I was travelling, and with relatively little run-off, there wasn’t much room to scrub off speed so I went straight into the wall. The impact was quite hard, but fortunately I’m fine.”
However the crash did compromise his running and meant that he missed out on some crucial high-fuel running: “The accident meant we didn’t get the track time we needed for the high-fuel and Option tyre runs in our programme for the afternoon. But we’ll be able to use some of the data generated by Jenson, and our aim for tomorrow has to be to get into Q3.”
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