Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Jenson Button says he will focus on improving his qualifying performances in 2011.
I’ll be putting additional focus on qualifying for 2011. This year, I think I’ve had some very strong Sunday afternoons, but I probably haven’t always made life as easy as I would like on Saturdays. And we know how crucial that is in modern Formula 1 if I can get qualifying sorted, then I think we can have an even stronger season next year.
Over the winter, it will be a case of sitting down with my engineers, looking at how we can move the car a little bit closer to me when it’s on low-fuel and how we can just extract that final tenth from it during Q3.
That’s the great thing about the winter: after such a long and intense season, it offers you the opportunity to have a closer look at everything away from the intensity of a fortnightly race schedule.
Button was back on the podium for the first time in five races at Abu Dhabi and said he was pleased with the car’s performance in the final race:
It was an extremely satisfying race, and it was a fantastic season. To qualify fourth, race hard, run at the front and finish on the podium in the final race of the season not only demonstrates a few things to me personally, but it also shows that, as a team, we have the momentum and fighting spirit to take us into the winter feeling very positive.
On a personal level, it was a real positive to qualify in the top four it showed that, with a car in which I feel comfortable, we can crack qualifying. In fact, we made a very good step in general with that process over the weekend, which leaves me feeling encouraged for more in 2011.
The car was fantastic all race. We made quite a bold decision to run long in the first stint, but it definitely worked for me. It would have been nice to have bowed out with another victory, but the result was good for the team in general: we managed to get some new parts working properly and they, in turn, helped us to secure second in the constructors’ championship.
The outgoing world champion added he was very happy with his first season at McLaren:
It’s really been a fantastic year. It’s hard to think that I only joined this team at the start of the year I’ve been made to feel so welcome, and such a part of the team, that it feels like I’ve been here far longer.
Obviously, the highlights for me were the two wins earlier in the season in Australia and China but there have been plenty of other highlights: I had some very strong races in Turkey and Canada, and almost took another win at Monza. There are plenty of positives to take away from the year.
The relationship with Lewis, my engineers and my mechanics also worked out really well. I do feel part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes family now. And, like I say, to end the season with two drivers in the top three is very encouraging.
2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Steven’s view of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Drivers’ and teams’ end-of-season photographs
- Alonso’s role in Ferrari strategy revealed in pit messages
- Hamilton: McLaren learned a lot in 2010
- Button vows to address qualifying weakness
- Vettel ends season on a high to snatch title
- Ferrari hit back at criticism of race strategy
- McLaren rediscover their form at final race
- New engines help Renault to best result of 2010
Image © www.mclaren.com