McLaren remain hopeful of making a step forward in tomorrow’s German Grand Prix, despite both drivers failing to match the pace of either Ferrari or Red Bull in qualifying.
Although the team once again introduced a number of new parts to its car for this weekend, its preparations were hampered by the poor weather and Lewis Hamilton’s practice crash.
Despite this, the Woking-based outfit remains convinced that the new parts will help them challenge for top honours in tomorrow’s race.
After struggling to find the correct balance on his MP4-25, Jenson Button managed to outqualify his team-mate and will start the race in fifth.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton will start the race alongside his team-mate on the third row in sixth.
Jenson Button – 5th: “It took a little bit of time for us to get used to the balance of the car this weekend. I was pretty happy with my final lap, so I don’t know where the extra seven tenths [to pole] is. And that’s the slightly worrying thing: it was a good lap, and I don’t really think there was anything else I could’ve got out of the car.
“But we’ve definitely made a step forward with the blown diffuser – it’s still not quite enough in qualifying spec, but, hopefully, we’ll see some more performance tomorrow.
“From fifth on the grid, we can still have a good race, and this is a fun place to go racing. The first lap is usually pretty hectic, so I’ll be hoping to pass some cars early on.
“I definitely think we can get a great result tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton – 6th: “My qualifying pace wasn’t great today there was definitely a bit more time to be gained somewhere. I did the best job I could it’s just that the two teams in front did a slightly better job.
“We’re the fastest down the straights, but we don’t have quite enough downforce at the moment. We’ll keep on pushing, but we know we have more work to do.
“Still, I think there’ll be an improvement in our performance relative to the others tomorrow, because our race pace is generally better than our qualifying pace. Hopefully, the weather will be good, too, so we can push the guys in front and try and make up some places.”
Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “No-one at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is ever going to be fully satisfied by a qualifying session that results in our cars qualifying only fifth and sixth but we have reason to be confident that our race pace will be stronger.
“Our straight-line speed is impressive perhaps more than we needed for an optimal qualifying set-up but it’s likely to pay dividends tomorrow.
“As ever, both Jenson and Lewis will be looking to make up places early on, and thereafter they’ll approach the race with their usual combination of combative ambition and disciplined adherence to a race strategy that we hope will bag them another decent haul of world championship points. And, having scored 149 points out of a possible 172 in the past four races, we’re focusing on maintaining our consistency above all else.”