F1 practice: Button blames car set-up for balance problems
BARCELONA — Jenson Button admitted that he was having trouble with the rear-end balance of his car during yesterday’s practice sessions for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old McLaren driver was fourth quickest on the opening day at the Circuit de Catalunya — 0,7 seconds adrift of pacesetter Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull.
Button blamed his car’s current set-up, and admitted that he currently had no chance of challenging Webber, or matching the pace of his McLaren team-mate and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton, who was second fastest.
“I’m not particularly happy with the balance of the car at the moment,” said Button, “I’m really strug- gling with the rear end it’s pretty unpredictable.
“If I look at what Lewis is doing, I just don’t have the balance and I’m a little way off at the moment. There’s a bit more pace in the car, we’ve just got to unleash it and get a balance that I like.”
Despite yesterday’s results indicating that McLaren’s latest updates had helped close the gap to the highflying Red Bulls, Button suggested that there was more to come from the Milton Keynes-based team.
He said: “We all hope, but I can’t see anything yet — they’re never that quick on a Friday.
“I was quickest on Friday at the last race, so it’s actually that they’ve got quicker.
“Tomorrow they’ll show their true pace and I’m guessing they’re going to have half-a-second on everyone.”
Despite finishing within 0,04 sec- onds off Webber’s time, Hamilton, champion in 2008, also expects Red Bull to have more performance up their sleeve.
He said: “I think we are just as competitive as we have been in the past, but that doesn’t mean that we are actually close to them.
“We’ll wait and see tomorrow. It depends on what their engine mode is on and all those kind of things. We don’t know. We might have a little bit in the bag, they might have a little bit in the bag. We wait and see.”
— Sapa-AFP. Times from yesterday’s second free practice: 1. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:22.470, 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren 1:22.509, 3. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:22.826, 4. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1:23.188, 5. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1:23.568, 6. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP 1:23.586, 7. Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP 1:23.981, 8. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari
Jenson Button was not happy with the balance of his McLaren during yesterday’s free practice session and will expect more ahead of tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.