Jenson Button, despite finishing thirteenth and sixteenth in Friday’s Japanese Grand Prix practices, seemed much more optimistic about the performance of the car in comparison with his team-mate, Fernando Alonso.
“On single-lap pace, the car doesn’t actually look too bad – I just didn’t get a great lap this afternoon,” admitted the Brit. “But if we can get a good lap together – which we’ll hopefully do tomorrow – we may be able to get into the top 10,” something that is highly plausible given Alonso’s respectable eighth and ninth positions in FP1 and FP2.
Button is slightly more realistic about the long run pace of the McLaren Honda, commenting that, “our long-run pace is more of an issue – and that’s something we need to solve as it’s usually a forte of mine, and it wasn’t today.”
The Formula One tyre supplier, Pirelli, has brought softs, mediums and hard tyres to this weekends, to combat the high levels of degradation that the track creates, something that Button was aware of in today’s practices.
“The degradation is significant, we’re some way off, and we’re looking into the reasons why. I think there’s something not quite right, as opposed to there being a set-up issue; but hopefully we can fix it by tomorrow.”
The popular driver seems to be completely the opposite to his teammate, and is in fact praying for rain, being a particularly strong wet weather driver.
“I’d love it to rain – that would help us have a chance of a good result here,” finished Button.