Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 24th, 2013 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - Jenson Button feels that he and his McLaren team got what they deserved by claiming sixth place on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix, after a chaotic wet-dry qualifying session. This was because, while the team did not make inspired calls, equally they did not make any errors.
"I think we basically got what we deserved," said Button. "We weren’t lucky in qualifying, we didn’t make any outstanding judgement calls, we did a good job in terms of the car was working well, and we didn’t make any mistakes under pressure."
His team boss Martin Whitmarsh concurred: "We were delighted by what Jenson was able to do…we didn’t take any massive risks, I don’t think we made any outstanding judgement calls but we didn’t make any mistakes going through qualifying and that was important as it’s easy to do that."
Both Button and Whitmarsh outlined the challenges of taking part in such a qualifying session: "It was such a difficult qualifying session," said Button. "It wasn’t just which tyre to be on it was how much fuel to put in the car. In Q3 we weren’t sure whether we should put a lot of fuel in the car when we went out on the slick tyre in case we did have to go on the inters, but we thought we would go for one lap because we want to get the most out of the slick tyre. That obviously hurt us, because when we put the inters on we had to refuel and that took time." Whitmarsh described the session as "chaotic" for those on the pit wall.
Button also noted that despite the grid order being set in wet conditions, it was the McLaren’s performance in the dry that really showed progress: "The wet pace was good, not far off any car really. But the pace that I was really happy with was the dry pace in Q2, three and a half tenths off the quickest and the car felt like it was working very well, I think we’ve definitely made some positive steps forward. To be P5 in Q2 that’s really the lap that I’m most happy with, and the progress that we’ve made.
"Generally we have a better car, we have more downforce that’s working in the correct areas. The car feels good, in Q2 I really enjoyed the lap around here. High-speed, mid-speed feels good even when you compare it to last year’s lap. It’s nice to make a step forward, hopefully we can show it a little bit more tomorrow."