Button: McLaren 'keyed' up for Japanese GP
8 October 2013 – Jenson Button has said McLaren is keyed up for Japanese Grand Prix this weekend and he is eager to score more points.
Button is more than aware he is unlikely to be battling for a place on the podium at Suzuka, given the performance of the MP4-28 relative to the likes of the Red Bull’s, Lotus’ and Mercedes’, but he is still convinced he can get a top-ten result and add to his season tally.
“Suzuka requires a car with a rock-solid balance and good downforce in order to go well. We’re not quite there with our car, but Korea showed that we can race well and, even despite misfortune, can score points. I think the whole team is keyed up for another positive weekend,” said Button in the countdown to the 15th round in the championship.
“The thing I really like about Suzuka is that it’s such an unforgiving track,” continued the 2009 F1 World Champion. “On most circuits, if you run wide or out-brake yourself, you invariably end up just running onto the tarmac run-off, so you can easily get back onto the track without any penalty. At Suzuka, if you run wide through the Esses, or go off the track at the exit of the Degners, you’re going to find yourself in the gravel. And I like that – I think it rewards those who don’t make mistakes, and it makes for better racing, because you have to stay honest and focused.
“Suzuka [actually] feels a bit like a second home circuit to me [too],” JB added. “My win there back in 2011 remains one of my most emotional victories, because it was the first Japanese Grand Prix after the terrible tsunami that devastated the north of Japan – it was such an important event for the whole country.”
Team-mate Sergio Pérez meanwhile is equally fond of Suzuka and has vowed to ‘push like crazy’ for a good result.
“I love Suzuka – such a great circuit,” remarked the Mexican. “I really enjoy driving at fast tracks, and this place just has so many great corners – the Esses, the Degners, Spoon, 130R.
“It’s a place which has a fantastic flow – once you commit into Turn One, you’re basically just modulating your speed all the way through until the track spits the car out over the brow at Turn Seven. The feeling through there when you nail it is incredible.
“The only drawback about Suzuka is that it’s very difficult to overtake – most of the corners are very fast, and most of the heavy braking zones are preceded by quick turns, so it’s very hard to get past another car. I tried and failed in equal measure last year, but I’m proud that I was able to have a go – and I’ll be pushing like crazy for a good result this weekend.”