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Button says Spa Q2 lap was good as 2012 pole effort

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Button says Spa Q2 lap was good as 2012 pole effort
By:
Aug 27, 2016, 2:45 PM

Jenson Button says his lap in Q2 for qualifying for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix was as good as his pole-winning effort at Spa four years ago.

Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Jenson Button, McLaren Mercedes
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda at FIA Press Conference
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31

The McLaren driver advanced into Q3 for only the third time this season, scraping into the top 10 after the chequered flag with a Q2 lap 1.052s off the pace of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

He went on to qualify ninth in Q3, his third best grid slot of the season, but was left particularly satisfied with the lap that allowed him to fight in the final qualifying phase.

"That was as good as it was going get," said Button. "I always go pretty well here, the Q2 lap was as good as my pole lap here in 2012.

"Here we definitely did not expect to qualify P9. The last race we were 11th or 12th on a circuit that suits us a bit better.

"So to come here and put in P9 on a circuit that's very difficult for us – last year we were a second off anyone – is good progress and we should be happy with this.

"I have to say it's one of the best laps I've ever done."

Button was also bullish that he can convert his grid slot into a solid points finish, adding: "Our race pace is better than our qualifying pace.

"It's no secret we're running a little bit more downforce than some others. Our consistency is good over a long run. We'll see, hopefully tomorrow we'll have a reasonable race."

Alonso engine misery

Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, faces a difficult race from the back of the grid, having failed to complete a lap in Q1.

A water leak in first practice on Friday forced Alonso to take a 35-place grid penalty for an engine change, and now the Spaniard faces further punishment if the power unit requires replacing again.

"We saw a problem after the FP3 laps and we didn't have enough time before qualifying to do the proper investigation," said Alonso.

"In qualifying we only did 500 metres so something was really wrong. We have time now to probably change the power unit again.

"We start last anyway, so we need to make sure we finish the race without any problem."

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