McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have said they were pleased with today’s qualifying for the Australian GP which saw them take second and fourth on the grid respectively.
The performance represents a substantial step forward for the Woking team, whose car had previously been thought to be behind the Ferraris and way off the Red Bulls in terms of outright pace.
But Hamilton declared himself “thrilled” by today.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be up here today,” said Hamilton. “The guys at the factory have done an unbelievable job. We have really got ourselves on the right track.”
He added: “A fantastic and super effort back at the factory, it was a very brave and tough decision to pull back what we did over the winter test. We decided to come back and go in another direction. It was very rare, we have never done that before, but the results from the wind tunnel looked good.
“Th guys work harder than ever, the car feels a huge improvement for us and a great stepping stone for us and a great foundation for us to step on.”
Meanwhile, Button said he too was content despite not having got the maximum from his machinery.
“We are very happy with that. We didn’t get the best out of it, but we I think we should all be very happy with the package that we have.
“It’s a massive step forward to what we had in testing, so we should all be very pleased with what we’ve done this weekend.
“It’s still in the early state this car, because we haven’t done much testing, so for it to be reliable and reasonably quick we should be very happy.”
“I’m really looking forward to the race. I think we can have a good race from fourth. I had a good race from fourth last year. We’ll see.
“Sebastian put on a very good lap but we don’t know what their race pace is going to be like. We have to be positive and think we can win.”