Jenson Button has claimed that starting on the dirty side of the grid for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix will not hamper his bid to make up for a poor display in qualifying.
The World Championship leader blamed the lack of heat in his tyres and his lack of running in Q3, as the Brawn GP team took precautionary steps to ensure that Button’s car would not discard any parts on to the track, something experienced by Rubens Barrichello in Q2.
The debris from Barrichello’s car, later confirmed by the team as a spring, ultimately led to Felipe Massa’s horrifying crash in qualifying.
Barrichello was eliminated in Q2 and will start in thirteenth.
Jenson Button – 8th: “The car felt reasonably good through the first two sessions today although none of my laps were perfect due to traffic and yellow flags. I thought we would be competitive in Q3 but unfortunately the work required on the car meant that I was only able to get one run and that was on a heavy fuel load with four more laps of fuel than we had planned. We were on the edge of the working range for the tyres today with the cooler temperatures so the car wasn’t handling quite as well as in practice. Starting from eighth on the grid isn’t ideal and I’m on the dirty side but we’re remaining positive and will see what we can do from there. Hopefully we will hear that Felipe is ok and we are thinking of him.”
Rubens Barrichello – 13th: “We had a great plan for qualifying today and I was confident that we could have a really good session. Unfortunately I had the problem with the rear of the car on my second timed lap in Q2 and I had to come into the pits and abandon the lap. I was unlucky to have had traffic on my first lap otherwise that might have been enough to make it into the top ten. Starting from 13th at this circuit where it is almost impossible to overtake will make for a really tough race tomorrow but at least we can choose the fuel load and we’ll give everything to get some points. But my position today is unimportant. My thoughts right now are with Felipe and his family who are really close friends of mine and I hope he is going to be ok and will be fit as soon as possible.”
Ross Brawn: “A very difficult day for the team today and most importantly we hope to hear soon that Felipe is ok. Qualifying was going well for both drivers in Q1 and Q2 before Rubens’ car had a problem at turn three on his final run of the session, costing him a place in the top ten. We changed the same part on Jenson’s car as a precaution just before the start of the final qualifying session. The process was completed as quickly as possible but left Jenson with only one chance of a flying lap. Having already fuelled the car at the start of Q3, he was therefore considerably heavier than planned and didn’t have a particularly good balance. It is of course frustrating to have qualified in these positions after a good start to the weekend yesterday but we have two good strategies and will take advantage of any opportunities which arise to score as many points as possible.”