Formula 1 News

Button on six-year Brazil high

The 31-year-old McLaren driver had failed to qualify inside the top 10 at Interlagos since 2005 when he qualified fourth.
Saturday, November 26, 2011

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Nov 26, 2011 (AFP) - Jenson Button enjoyed his best Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying performance for six years on Saturday as the 2009 world champion reignited his love affair with the Interlagos circuit.

Button will start Sunday's season-ending race from third on the grid behind Red Bull heavyweights Sebastian Vettel, the world champion, and Mark Webber.

Despite winning the world championship in Sao Paulo in 2009, the 31-year-old McLaren driver had failed to qualify inside the top 10 at Interlagos since 2005 when he qualified fourth.

"I'm excited about tomorrow," said Button. "It's the last race of year and I want to end it on a high. I am enjoying this moment, this is my best qualifying for six years.

"I always love racing here. It's such a good circuit for racing and fighting. Out of last corner into Turn 1 is good for overtaking, and now we have DRS out of Turn 3, hopefully I can get these two (Vettel and Webber) tomorrow.

"Whatever happens, it has been a great season for us, but just not quite good enough. There are some areas we still have to work on, but hopefully we can have a good race."

After some strong performances during free practice, Button admitted he was a little disappointed not to have challenged pace-setter Vettel for pole.

He said: "I thought we'd be further up the grid, which showed what a good job we did. It was a good day and a much stronger time than last year."

"We made a few adjustments after Q2 even and I thought the set-up on the option tyre was as good as we were going to get, but the lap was pretty ragged. I feel I was quicker on the prime, but we didn't quite have the balance."

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest but he was feeling deflated and suggested the forecast rain would help his chances at finishing on the podium.

"A little bit disappointing, really," said Hamilton. "We are still on the second row but of course we would love to be higher up. 

"My performance I'm not to happy about in the sense that I wasn't quick enough.

"I've started from fourth a lot of the times here. Let's hope tomorrow is wet, so we wait and see. It can be very tricky here with the weather and I think tomorrow is going to rain, so that makes the chances even greater.

"Four is a good number for me, and let's hope we can turn that into something more positive tomorrow."

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2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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2
Felipe Massa
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3
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