Button targets double points finish
20 April 2013 – Jenson Button is optimistic that both he and McLaren team-mate Sergio Pérez will be able to record points finishes in tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix, with the 2009 World Champion drawing confidence from his Q3 appearance on Saturday afternoon.
Although he has played down his team's chances of repeating the strategic success enjoyed at Shanghai last time out, Button believes there is plenty of scope for himself and Pérez to progress from their respective tenth and 12th place starting positions.
"It’s been a very difficult weekend so far, but tenth is a strong result for us today," said Button. "The team is used to fighting at the front, so it’s the little things – like getting through into Q3 – that can make a positive difference. Of course, it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow, though. I’ll race as quickly as I can, but I don’t want people to expect too much from us.
"However, there are positives to be drawn from today: we out-qualified a Lotus [Romain Grosjean], which was a surprise, and I’ll be driving the first car starting on new tyres tomorrow. As in China, that brings a slight strategic advantage, so I’m hoping we can have another decent outing. I think we’ve both got a chance of scoring points – it would be great for both Checo and me to finish in the top ten tomorrow."
Pérez, who missed out on a place in the final qualifying phase by 0.239 seconds, hopes his steps to reduce tyre degradation will shine through in tomorrow's race.
"Qualifying was very difficult, and it was disappointing to miss out on getting into Q3 by just a few tenths," he said. "We didn’t really have the pace to get any further up the grid, though; I think Jenson showed the maximum that was possible for us in Q2 today. Still, we’re in a better position to fight for points tomorrow. I’ve set my car up to look after its rear tyres, so I think our race pace should be a bit more consistent.
"It’s still going to be hard to get into the points tomorrow, but I hope we can have an OK race and make it into the top ten. But it’s going to be a long, hard race."