Button predicts “difficult” race ahead for McLaren
However it was Sergio Perez who made it through to the top 10 shoot out, Button suspecting that tyre pressure woes were the cause of his struggles. Speaking in a team statement, he started by congratulating Perez on his Q2 lap which put him through to the final session. “Congratulations to Checo – he did a great job, particularly in Q2,” said Button, before adding “He did everything right this afternoon and showed that some of our recent upgrades are definitely working.”
However the Brit admitted that it all went wrong for him in the 15 minute session, saying “The car felt okay in Q1 but in Q2, I couldn’t find the grip for my final run.” He cited potential tyre pressure problems as the cause, saying “the tyre pressures may have been too high.” However the team are looking into any problems with his car and tyre pressures.
Looking forward to the race, he predicted that it will be “difficult” for them “whatever we do.” However he is determined to make progress, continuing “but we’ll do our best to make the best of it.”
Sergio Perez managed to save the day for McLaren, creating mixed emotions within the team but showing some promise that the upgrades brought to Barcelona are in fact working. He admitted that he “got everything out of the car” and that the result came as quite a surprise, saying “to get through to Q3 was a great result, and something we really weren’t expecting.”
The race is looking more promising in comparison to his team-mates, looking ahead to his fifth race for McLaren he said “We’ll go into the race tomorrow looking to maximise our potential. If we can manage that, I think we should be satisfied.”
Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh praised Perez on his qualifying performance, saying he did “a fantastic job” and admitting that they were thinking of staying in the garage for the top 10 shoot out, taking the “tactical” decision. However due to the performance of Perez they decided to send him out. Despite losing time in sector three, he was satisfied with the Mexican’s lap.
Whitmarsh echoed the concerns with the tyre pressure on Button’s car, but he was certain that Button “felt comfortable in his car” and that a top 10 position would have been on the cards.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.