Button: no answer for Red Bull’s “phenomenal” pace

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

Jenson Button admitted McLaren weren’t able to compete with Red Bull in qualifying in China.

Speaking after qualifying second, 0.7 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel, Button said: “In the heat of the moment I think you always think that’s it’s possible.

“But the pace in Q3, of Sebastian and the Red Bull, was phenomenal. In Q2, yeah, it looked like it was possible and that’s why I chose to run with two [sets of] tyres in Q3 to give it a go and see if we can.

“And then I saw Seb’s time and it was like ‘OK, maybe we’re going to have to fight for second place’.

“But it’s nice for me, this is my best grid slot of the year. From where we were on Friday I don’t think either of us were that happy with the balance.

“We’ve improved the car a lot and we should be happy with what we’ve achieved today. I think the team did a great job of turning the car around over the last two days and big thanks to them.

“I also had a little surprise – my girlfriend rocked up right before qualifying which maybe gave me a helping hand.”

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36 comments on Button: no answer for Red Bull’s “phenomenal” pace

  1. sumedh said on 16th April 2011, 9:19

    “My Girlfriend rocked up” – Does anyone know what this phrase means?

  2. Gwenouille said on 16th April 2011, 9:35

    Is P2 on the right or left side of the grid ?

    I wonder if JB would be able to pass SV just at the start… That would change the shape of the race quite a bit, with LH probably able to fight SV for once

  3. Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th April 2011, 9:52

    I’m hoping Button can pull off a great start tomorrow. I still dont think he has the pace to win a race, but Hamilton, Rosberg and Alonso would put some serious pressure on Vettel when he is following Button around for a few laps.

    • Andy C said on 16th April 2011, 10:07

      I’m not sure on that one. I think McLaren are better on race pace than one lap, so they should be able to challenge.

      Watch out for the Petrov rocket coming through at the start by the way. Whatever they’ve got on that Renault, its working really well at starts.

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 16th April 2011, 11:35

        We’ll have to see what was wring with Pertovs car, if they have to change parts he will probably drop 10 positions.

      • faba said on 16th April 2011, 23:49

        i think the Ferrari is as good the red bull. the macca is not that good. they have had two opportunities in the last 2 races and over-rated hamilton hasn’t deliver. hopefully Alonso once and for all has a clean race and he can challenge vettel.

        • Bendanarama said on 17th April 2011, 7:27

          If what you are saying were true, surely it would e the Ferraris up in second place, or even winning races, rather than languishing in 5th place and downwards.

          Oh, but I’m sure it will be someone else’s fault that they can’t win or get podiums. Of course.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th April 2011, 11:00

      How on earth are they going to pressure a car that’s 7 tenths a lap faster?

      Vettel is just going to cruise a few seconds ahead of them again. Let the guys behind him drive their socks off and run the risk of crashing or ruining their tyres.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 16th April 2011, 11:24

        I really don’t think the RB has 7 tenths of race pace, and it would be interesting to see what Vettel has really got if Jenson can jump him at the start, we’ve not really seen Vettel under pressure yet, the car has given him a comfort zone, but if he gets away 1st then he will be long gone before Jenson can activate the DRS.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th April 2011, 11:40

        Its common sense isn’t it? If Button is in front of Seb, and Seb cannot get by him, he would have to maintain the Mclaren’s pace. The couple of drivers behind him, equipped with the DRS could put him under some serious pressure then.

  4. Jeremy said on 16th April 2011, 10:23

    I just won this from 8th place on the Wii and Vettel was rubbish so I reckon the McLaren guys have it easy. I was on beginner settings though

  5. infy (@infy) said on 16th April 2011, 11:14

    The only way to stop Vettel is to get in front of him off the line. Their Race pace is less than their qualifying, but it is still the best.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 16th April 2011, 12:15

      A friend and I discussed (in our usual post-qualifying phone call – “you know you’re an f1fanatic when…”) the possibility of the McLaren drivers working together to contain Vettel. If one got ahead at the start they could try and hold him up (in the first 2 Sectors after Lap of course!) and let the other get a hold of him, then do alternate strategies: one comes in earlier than Vettel, the other after him. With the pace it might work, through it would be risky.

  6. bendanarama said on 16th April 2011, 11:25

    is it me or is this comments thread starting to read like a carry on script?

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th April 2011, 11:25

    Nice stuff from McLaren.

    It was odd seeing both him and Seb roll into parc ferme one lap earlier than required. A nice conservative approach!

  8. Eggry (@eggry) said on 16th April 2011, 16:16

    first Alonso, now Button. who’s next?

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