Button: McLaren a little nearer to the front
7 June 2013 – McLaren driver Jenson Button says his team is "a little nearer to the front" of the field after the opening day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, but the Briton expects Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes to remain as the pace-setters.
Although a gearbox issue hindered his efforts in the second 90 minute practice session, Button ended the day ninth quickest on the combined timesheets, admitting that mixed weather conditions would suit McLaren for the remainder of the weekend.
"I think we’re a little nearer to the front than we’ve been in the past – the times are very close – but it’ll be the usual front-running cars who set the pace this weekend," said Button. "We needed everything to be reliable today, but I only managed three laps on my high-fuel run before I had a problem with the gearbox.
"That was a pity because it meant we didn’t get the long-run information we were after. In fact, we had a similar issue last year, when I also had a gearbox problem on the Friday."
Button added: "Nonetheless, the positive from today is that each car was running a very different set-up, so at least we gathered lots of good information. We’ll go away and study that tonight ahead of tomorrow’s sessions. I’m hoping the conditions will stay mixed for tomorrow – if they do, I think we’ll be able to make the best of it."
In the sister MP4-28 chassis, Sergio Pérez ended the day 12th quickest.