Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Button impressed by Mercedes pace

2013 F1 season

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Jenson Button says the pace of the new Mercedes has caught his eye over the ten days of testing so far.

“I really don’t know who’s quick and who isn’t,” he began, before adding: “I’d say that one team that has been consistently quick and consistent on their runs is the Mercedes more than anyone else.

Button remains keen to get some more representative running at the wheel of his MP4-28 following the cold and wet conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya:

“We can always be confident we can do a good job but I need another day in the car,” he told media in Barcelona.

“Not to feel it, the feeling of the car is there, I understand the car, they’re not the different. But in terms of set-up work, yes, we definitely need another day.

“Today is really the first time that I’ve done set-up work that’s helped us with the direction,” he added. “And on such an unusual day in terms of weather, to have a good day is unusual.

“So I’m happy with the progress we made today but I still feel there’s so much more we need to do before the first race. So I’ll be watching closely tomorrow with Checo [Perez] in the car.

“And on Sunday – not just to get the laps done on Sunday – but we need to get a lot of laps done and that’s because we need to spend a lot of time on the circuit to understand the car a bit more and also just developing the car.

“I feel there’s so much we haven’t done in terms of the general set-up work that you would do with a new car.”

Button said the team’s progress has been delayed by the length of time it is taking them to make set-up changes on the new car.

“When we make a set-up change it does take a lot of time,” he said. “That’s normal with a new car but still it’s taking a little bit too long.”

“That’s cost us a lot of time in the garage and it’s hurt our comparisons on the circuit. So that’s something we need to improve in the next two days.”

“Dry weather for two days and circuit temperatures in the twenties, thirties is what we need because I haven’t driven in that condition since Jerez. All the days I’ve driven have been freezing cold so it’d be nicer to drive in slightly hotter conditions that are sort of comparable to what we find in Melbourne.”

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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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38 comments on “Button impressed by Mercedes pace”

  1. I think Button usually has a good eye for who’s quick and who isn’t.

    1. Except for himself :)

      1. Haha very true.

        1. So what you’re saying is that an F1 driver doesn’t know how fast they are? Really guys?

          1. No we are saying Button knows hes not as fast as others.

          2. Although that’s not what Enigma and Force Maikel were implying at any point, I still fail to see how that’s relevant.

            Button has said it himself numerous times that he knows he’s not the fastest on the grid and that it isn’t his aim to be the fastest. So what exactly are you trying to prove?

          3. Whoa, Aced, don’t get so defensive.

          4. @Aced
            He’s just trying to re-iterate exactly that.

        2. Murali Dharan
          2nd March 2013, 15:58

          I think what Maikel implied is that if Button really has a good eye for speed then he wouldn’t have such a hard time setting up his car. He would immediately know what works and the setup will just click. But that is not the case….anyway….

  2. Sly Jenson, trying to put some pressure on Lewis already

    1. I think there is probably an element of that in his comments, but without there being a chunk of truth to it, he wouldn’t say it, because he would sound thoroughly rediculous.

    2. I am happy he din’t say something like ” they are dark horses for the championship ” or some crap . So even though this might seem like putting some pressure , he is still truthful . No Harm Jens . I seriously hope that Lewis gets to race jenson sometime . Whoa ! how exciting would that be

      1. Jenson crushed into Lewis the last time L tried to overtake him.
        So not looking forward to that happening again.

  3. He obviously takes a jibe at Hamilton.

    1. Maybe a re for this ….

      I would say though both drivers are truthful and not rude while commenting . So nothing for the fans to get irritated . The mind games , these comments ….are ( yoda voice)

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st March 2013, 21:56

    Let the mind games begin:-)

  5. This confirms that Button is scared of being outperformed by Lewis. Remember during his first win after joining McLaren? Back then his main concern was not the other rivals like Alonso but all he was asking about on the team radio was, “Where is Lewis?” This question is burned into his mind and he will always want to know where Lewis is. It does not matter how fast the other cars are, all that matters is that he beats Lewis. Funny enough, this is where he and Martin have a confluence of minds. No wonder Lewis left. I hope Lewis beats him in every race in 2013 and beyond. As for Chico, he is slowly (no, quickly) starting to learn that McLaren is not going to be a bed of roses. Race after race he will be giving excuses such as, “I’m still learning, give me time!” “I have to get familiar with the steering wheel!” “Even Lewis needed several years to get to the top, I need more time!” Then finally he will jump ship and spit, “These guys are not easy to work with!”

    1. I dunno it sounded pretty straight forward to me…

    2. The reason why Button was asking where Lewis was is that you can barely see anything on your mirrors when it’s wet and there’s spray behind the car. Aside from that they were probably also keeping him updated on who was behind him and whether they were catching up and at that moment it happened to be Hamilton. Obviously they were also going to broadcast that part because it makes good TV.

      As far as Checo learning that McLaren is not going to be a bed of roses there’s absolutely no reason to speculate that. At least not yet so I don’t know what you’re on about.

    3. Yes, it obviously, without debate, confirms all of that…

    4. lol

    5. What a ridiculous comment.

    6. You’re reading way, way too much into it.

    7. To: BJF1. Good God man, how on earth did you arrive at that comment? Lewis Hamilton wasn’t even mentioned in that write-up. You’ve practically written a fictional soap opera script!

      As regards Raikonnen, it’s clear he doesn’t get asked too many questions and is why he gives monosyllabic answers. Not particularly sponsor friendly either.

    8. Murali Dharan
      2nd March 2013, 16:16

      I don’t think he is scared of being outperformed by lewis Hamilton. He just wan’t to make people believe that should any good come out of the LH + Merc alliance it is because of a good car. It is like complementing the wife of a man with inferiority complex (expecting devious consequences), Kinda the opposite of what Alonso is doing.

  6. why cant every driver behave like kimi and cut the **.

    1. That would really suck.

      Kimi’s personality and approach to dealing with media commitments is novel which is a huge part of what makes him a compelling character to follow. If all the drivers started behaving like Kimi, his unique appeal would be gone and fans would be left wanting.

    2. No idea what you’re complaining about. Button was asked a straight question and gave a straight answer.

      1. @keithcollantine
        Yeah, your wright Keith as today Lewis showed some good pace. I as a reader don’t know any driver in person as you do, so from time to time it’s difficulte to draw conclusions. And, speaking for myself, it’s sometimes easier to talk bs than to be objective :))).

  7. I think there is a good chance JB’s words can just be taken literally, as to being observations at testing about Merc and about themselves at Mac. I think if there is anything beyond literal observations, it might be his way of wishing LH good luck, as in, a bit of a reassuring compliment to LH. I don’t see JB as the vindictive type who thinks he can only win with the misfortune of others. I’m sure the WDC JB, is confident he will have much better odds than LH this year of consistant success in the races, no matter how the Mercs have appeared in testing so far. They’ll have to prove their worth racing in anger. And if they prove worthy, I’m sure JB is up to that challenge and will cross that bridge if/when it arrives. Between now and then, they all have a ton of work to do and many things will happen. And if LH is even made aware of JB’s observations, he might be grateful that a pair of outside eyes, who can add some relative perspective to the unreliable testing info we’re told to mistrust, seems to think they’re quick and consistant.

    And also if JB’s words are to be taken beyond the literal, if anything, and if he is in fact being political, it is really a jab at those he will be seeing as his real threat this year again, Red Bull and Ferrari, to say that it is not they who have been the more consistantly quick and consistant on their runs, it’s been the Merc.

    1. A very astute comment.

  8. Well Lewis just showed everyone that Button was wright with his comments about Merc. He just put a 1m21.534s some serious lap speed.

    1. Make that a 20.5 :] but until Q2 in Aus, we wont know its relevence.

      1. True :). I think that even tomorow we will see even faster lap times, assuming that no one will calculate.

  9. What you are witnessing is that Hamilton is fast. He has made the McLaren look fast all these years, now he is not in the McLaren so it is going to look slow, and the car he is now in, Mercedes, will look fast. McLaren have been thumping their chest about how good they are and used Hamilton as a scape goat. If they wanted to continue to mask their problem, they should have done everything to keep Hamilton so he can continue to make them look fast. The Mercedes will be fast now because Hamilton is driving it. Roseberg will be fast also because he is fast and he has Hamilton to push him.

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