Button “not getting carried away” after topping times

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Jenson Button says he’s “not getting carried away” with the performance of his revised McLaren after going fastest on Friday in Melbourne.

Button said: “Today showed that, first of all, we’ve got reliability – which is great. That’s something we’ve not had all winter, so to have a car that runs for as many laps as we want it to is very satisfying. It also means we can get stuck into our set-up work and improve the car.

"I don’t think there’s much to be gained from looking at today’s times though, so I’m not going to get too carried away.

“Still, it’s been a positive day because we’ve been able to do so much running and get a good feeling for the car on different fuel loads.

“The new exhaust has definitely brought performance to the car – it feels much better, makes the handling more complete.

“When you have downforce at the rear, you can also add it at the front, and then you put temperature in the tyres – there’s so much that comes with downforce.

“I’m so happy with how hard the guys have worked and what they’ve brought to this race – they’ve worked really hard and they’ve delivered something good here.

“We don’t yet know how good, but we’re encouraged by the step we’ve made today.”

Lewis Hamilton described the revised MP4-26 as “a big step forward”:

“Hopefully we can pick up some points this weekend – I feel positive. The grip level today felt like a big step forward.

“We don’t know what fuel loads the others are running, but our car feels like a big improvement from where we were just a few weeks ago.

“And that’s simply a result of hard work: all the men and women back at the factory and at the track this weekend have done a fantastic job.

“It’s difficult to gauge how different our car is, but there’s more downforce, which is something we’re always asking for.

“This is a major positive. Our initial feeling is that the car is good, but we’ll need to see tomorrow – still, I think we’re in the hunt for some points.”

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    12 comments on “Button “not getting carried away” after topping times”

    1. I saw a short report where they asked him about the 1 second claim by Withmarsh. He apparently looked suprised, raised his eyebrows and mentioned he thought a whole second was a very bold claim.

      Down to earth, this Frome guy! At least they look like having a fair go at competing for the front rows and a solid points finish. That must be exaclty what Button wanted from his team.

      1. I like Button more as time goes on.

        In the interview with Ted on the BBC, he said team orders are flat out wrong. You should have equal equipment with your teammate, and if you don’t beat them “You need to look at yourself”.

        I can’t think of a better way of expressing what the average F1 fan thinks F1 should be about, than that. Teams producing the fastest cars they can, and then once the helmet goes on, it comes down to the man in the cockpit.

        1. I agree Hairs, the more and more I learn about him the more I admire him as a driver and a person.

    2. quote: “still, I think we’re in the hunt for some points”
      -> Does he mean “good points” or simply “points”?

      1. I was thinking along the same lines…surely things aren’t THAT bad?!

        1. Maybe after last test, with Mercedes having improved there, Renault and Williams looking good, Torro Rosso and Sauber clearly improved since last year, and Ferrari and Red Bull fast as they seemed, Hamilton was fearing the points could be a hard fight in Melbourne.

          As it is, I still expect the those teams to have a good fight over available places in Q3, even more than at the end of last year. A small mistake or problem for the fastest car might already make the difference. I certainly hope so, so it is good that McLaren is part of this competitive group near the front of the grid again.

    3. I think anyone who paid attention to pre-season testing will know to take McLaren’s FP2 domination with a pinch of salt. I get the impression they would have been cramming as much in as possible, including very light fuel loads and many flying laps.

      1. FP3 will be the first time we really get to see what’s going on.

      2. They certainly seemed to be the team working most on faster laps during FP2; still, I do think it shows they aren’t seconds behind at least. The people doing the work seem to be pretty level headed about it, feeling they have improved, but not claiming it is enough. A bit like Mercedes did in Barcelona really, getting (back) in the mix at the front instead.

    4. Good lad Jenson not getting cocky yet unlike Alonso in the Ferrari who seems to be way over himself so early in the game!

      1. Yes but Ferrari were carrying a good glug of fuel. Jensen is right to be cautious with his Qualifying fuel load, although their pace is much better than testing but…. how good?

    5. He is right still early days just as testing practice times are also tough call. I think all the animals will bring out their claws on Saturday afternoon then we will have the answer if who have the best car, which we were searching since 1st February.

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