Formula 1 News

Button cool after short day in the heat

The McLaren driver had to see from outside of the track since he was forced to skip the second session.
Friday, September 23, 2011

SINGAPORE, Sept 24, 2011 (AFP) - Jenson Button said he remained upbeat about his prospects for the Singapore Grand Prix despite spending much of Friday restricted to a spectator's role after being forced out of second practice.

The 31-year-old Briton said he was focusing on the positives and had gleaned useful information by watching his rivals on the circuit.

Runaway championship leader German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull topped the times ahead of nearest title rival, two times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Button, the 2009 world champion, narrowly missed hitting the wall at Turn 14 after locking up his brakes -- and was then left stranded when his gearbox failed to work.

"It was a short day for me, but it was quite interesting watching other people's times, watching them on the circuit," Button said.

"We have a lot of useful information I think. We have to take the positives from the session. The negatives were I narrowly missed the barrier and then couldn't drive away because I couldn't get reverse, but the positives are that we were able to watch and see what people are doing in their runs.

"Set-up work? We wouldn't have done much more anyway, I think we know which direction we need to go in, but I was disappointed not to get a long run on the super-soft tyre because that's the tyre everyone will struggle with because over-heating of the tyre is very high."

Despite his cool approach, Button said he felt that it would be very difficult for him to qualify close to the front of the grid for Sunday's race. He said: "It's going to be very very tough. The Red Bull is very fast over one lap, and Fernando was up there and his long run was very impressive.

"I think everyone is going to struggle with tyres. The prime is sliding just like the option, and then that causes high temperature, which causes more sliding -- you get into a pretty bad situation and there is a massive drop-off after just three laps.

"We're not really confident at the moment. There's a few things we still need to sort out and we're not happy with the balance.

"But we have some good ideas for tomorrow though -- it's only an hour but we'll make some good progress."

Button during the first session.

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