McLaren drivers expecting ultra-close qualifying

McLaren drivers expecting ultra-close qualifying

5 October 2012 – McLaren finished Friday second and seventh quickest at Suzuka, but both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are suspected to have carried significant fuel loads. Heading into Saturday’s qualifying session, for which the latter has a five-place gearbox change penalty, both men forecast a tightly-contested battle.

“I have the coolest job - Suzuka is such a phenomenal circuit!” began Hamilton, who a week ago confirmed that he is switching to Mercedes-Benz next year. “The first lap out of the pits felt great, but you need to be careful - at Spoon we saw a few people making mistakes today. If you put a wheel on the dirt, it’s very easy to lose the car.

“As always, we’ll be fine-tuning the car tonight ahead of tomorrow’s sessions, but it looks very close between ourselves and Red Bull. I feel comfortable with our car – it’s the best that it’s ever been around here – and I think I could have matched Mark (Webber)’s fastest time with an optimal lap. It’s going to be very close in qualifying.”

Button won the Japanese Grand Prix last year, confirming what was his first all-dry Grand Prix victory and the 12th of his 14 Formula 1 wins to date.

“I didn’t do too many laps in FP2; the balance wasn’t quite right and we knew we couldn’t go back on the changes we’d made until after the session, so there wasn’t any point doing too much running,” the Frome driver explained.

“Still, we know how to dial the car in for FP3 tomorrow and that’s the important thing. The car felt good this morning, so we’ll go back to something similar with just a few detail changes. Overall, the car is working well here. Qualifying will be very competitive, but I think we’ll be up there.”

By virtue of his penalty, Button’s best possible grid position will be sixth.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 3 July 2015

  2. 21:16

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Silverstone

    F1
  3. Alonso braced for Q1 elimination 20:48

    Alonso braced for Q1 elimination

    McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso fears that it will be difficult to progress from the first phase of qualifying for the…

    F1
  4. Vișoiu docked three places for impeding 20:29

    Vișoiu docked three places for impeding

    Rapax driver Robert Vișoiu has been handed a three place grid penalty for the GP2 Feature Race after stewards deemed that he…

    GP2
  5. Williams drivers eye better one-lap pace 18:40

    Williams drivers eye better one-lap pace

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are chasing improved one-lap pace after the first day of practice at…

    F1
  6. Hülkenberg: New car immediately better 18:05

    Hülkenberg: New car immediately better

    Nico Hülkenberg expressed his encouragement with Force India's upgrade package as he says he was able to feel the performance…

    F1
  7. Red Bull pair encouraged by upgrades 17:45

    Red Bull pair encouraged by upgrades

    Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo spoke positively about Red Bull's British Grand Prix upgrade package after Friday's practice…

    F1
  8. Hamilton happier with clutch set-up 17:27

    Hamilton happier with clutch set-up

    Lewis Hamilton expressed his optimism after reverting to an older clutch set-up during Friday practice for the British Grand…

    F1
  9. Rosberg praises team for turnaround 17:17

    Rosberg praises team for turnaround

    Nico Rosberg has heaped praise on his Mercedes team for repairing his car during Friday's opening practice session at…

    F1
  10. 16:46

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Silverstone

    GP2
  11. Sirotkin beats Vandoorne for maiden pole 16:43

    Sirotkin beats Vandoorne for maiden pole

    Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin claimed his maiden GP2 Series pole position as he overcame the competition during Friday…

    GP2
  12. 15:36

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  13. Rosberg stays on top in second practice 15:33

    Rosberg stays on top in second practice

    Nico Rosberg remained at the top of the timesheets during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the British Grand…

    F1
  14. Mercedes reprimanded over car cover 14:55

    Mercedes reprimanded over car cover

    Mercedes has escaped serious punishment for covering Nico Rosberg's car after his practice stoppage at Silverstone, with the…

    F1
  15. 13:50

    Follow second practice for the British GP!

    F1
  16. Comtec to make return with Delétraz 12:38

    Comtec to make return with Delétraz

    Comtec Racing will make its return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at next weekend's round in Austria, with Louis Delétraz…

    FR 3.5
  17. Mercedes referred to stewards for covering car 12:34

    Mercedes referred to stewards for covering car

    Mercedes has been referred to the British Grand Prix stewards for covering Nico Rosberg's car as it returned to the Silverstone…

    F1
  18. 11:43

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  19. Rosberg tops FP1 despite stoppage 11:34

    Rosberg tops FP1 despite stoppage

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the pace in Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix, ahead of…

    F1
  20. 09:49

    Follow first practice for the British GP!

    F1
  21. Massa expects third season at Williams 08:16

    Massa expects third season at Williams

    Felipe Massa says he is expecting to remain at Williams in 2016, with the team holding an option on the Brazilian for what would…

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Silverstone preview 05:09

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Silverstone preview

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Lewis Hamilton looks ahead to his home race at Silverstone.

    F1
  23. Thursday 2 July 2015

  24. 19:12

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Silverstone

    F1
  25. Manor Marussia reveals updated livery 19:10

    Manor Marussia reveals updated livery

    Manor Marussia has revealed an updated livery for the remainder of the season after announcing a new sponsorship deal. The…

    F1
  26. F1 Strategy Group agrees on various changes 19:09

    F1 Strategy Group agrees on various changes

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, FOM and teams, who meet as the F1 Strategy Group, have announced a series of regulation…

    F1
  27. Formula E retains same 10 teams 17:24

    Formula E retains same 10 teams

    Organisers of the Formula E championship have confirmed that the 10 teams which competed in the in the inaugural season will…

    FE
  28. Verstappen: Toro Rosso behind only Mercedes 17:19

    Verstappen: Toro Rosso behind only Mercedes

    Max Verstappen reckons Toro Rosso has the second fastest car in the Formula 1 field, behind Mercedes, with only Renault's power…

    F1
  29. Massa says Räikkönen needs to 'relax' 15:33

    Massa says Räikkönen needs to 'relax'

    Williams driver Felipe Massa says former team-mate Kimi Räikkönen needs to "relax" if he is to get his Formula 1 career back…

    F1
  30. Nasr encouraged by Mark Smith signing 14:31

    Nasr encouraged by Mark Smith signing

    Felipe Nasr has described as a "smart move" Sauber's decision to hire Mark Smith as its new Technical Director, the team's first…

    F1
  31. Aoyama to replace Abraham in Germany 14:22

    Aoyama to replace Abraham in Germany

    Honda test rider Hiroshi Aoyama will make a return to MotoGP in Germany next weekend in place of Karel Abraham at AB…

    MotoGP
  32. Canamasas joins Lazarus, Lancaster returns 14:12

    Canamasas joins Lazarus, Lancaster returns

    Sergio Canamasas and Jon Lancaster will make their returns to the GP2 Series this weekend after joining Lazarus and Hilmer…

    GP2
  33. Pérez targets Red Bull with new Force India 13:06

    Pérez targets Red Bull with new Force India

    Sergio Pérez says the arrival of Force India's B-spec car should give the team confidence to target fourth-placed Red Bull over…

    F1
  34. Rowland gets Silverstone MP Motorsport seat 10:03

    Rowland gets Silverstone MP Motorsport seat

    Formula Renault 3.5 Series leader Oliver Rowland will make his GP2 debut with MP Motorsport at this weekend's round of the…

    GP2
  35. GP3 to use 'Super Hard' tyre at Silverstone 10:01

    GP3 to use 'Super Hard' tyre at Silverstone

    A new Pirelli 'Super Hard' tyre compound will make its track debut this weekend, with the GP3 Series set to use the rubber at…

    GP3
  36. Power penalised for Fontana incident 10:00

    Power penalised for Fontana incident

    Will Power has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the IndyCar season for pushing a track worker…

    Indy
  37. Manor Marussia set for upgrade package 09:32

    Manor Marussia set for upgrade package

    Manor Marussia is set to bring its first upgrade package to the MR03B for its home race at Silverstone this weekend. The…

    F1
  38. Red Bull switching focus to 2016 – Ricciardo 08:12

    Red Bull switching focus to 2016 – Ricciardo

    Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull's travails so far in the 2015 season mean it makes sense for squad to switch its focus into…

    F1
  39. Silverstone memories: First lap pile-up 05:26

    Silverstone memories: First lap pile-up

    Relive the start to the 1973 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, known for a huge first lap pile-up. The carnage was triggered…

    F1
  40. Wednesday 1 July 2015

  41. Formula 1 needs to be more competitive – fans 16:53

    Formula 1 needs to be more competitive – fans

    Almost 90 per cent of Formula 1 fans hold the view that the sport needs to be more competitive, according to the results of a…

    F1
  42. Button: Test mileage motivating for McLaren 14:39

    Button: Test mileage motivating for McLaren

    Jenson Button says that the mileage completed by McLaren during the post-race test in Austria has given the squad extra…

    F1
  43. Video: Räikkönen previews Silverstone 12:34

    Video: Räikkönen previews Silverstone

    Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen looks ahead to this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

    F1
more news