Italian GP: McLaren qualifying report

JENSON BUTTON MP4-25A-03 P3 programme 5th 1m22.724s (+0.226s) 19 laps Qualifying Q1 4th 1m23.085s (on Primes) Q1 2nd 1m22.354s (on Options) Q1 2nd 1m22.084s (on Options) "I've felt very happy all weekend running the higher of our two ...

JENSON BUTTON
MP4-25A-03
P3 programme 5th 1m22.724s (+0.226s) 19 laps

Qualifying
Q1 4th 1m23.085s (on Primes)
Q1 2nd 1m22.354s (on Options)
Q1 2nd 1m22.084s (on Options)

"I've felt very happy all weekend running the higher of our two downforce packages. The car has felt very good and I've been comfortable with the stability of the rear. You know you'll be competitive when you keep finding small increments of time here and there.

"Over a single lap, the car is good, but its real benefit will be felt in the race tomorrow, when we should have stronger long-run pace. We're running more downforce than most people; that'll make it more tricky over the first couple of laps, but we should be more consistent in the race.

"I want to say a big thank you to the whole team for bringing a great package to this weekend's race. Our car is moving forwards all the time.

"It will be an incredible battle at the front tomorrow, but, starting from the front row, my aim must be for a victory. A win here would be very important; I've got the world championship trophy at home -- and I want it to stay there!"

LEWIS HAMILTON
MP4-25A-04
P3 programme 1st 1m22.498s 19 laps

Qualifying
Q1 3rd 1m22.830s (on Primes)
Q1 3rd 1m22.394s (on Options)
Q1 5th 1m22.623s (on Options)

"I'm a little bit disappointed -- it would appear that we took the wrong route by running without the F-duct this weekend. I just didn't have the downforce today, and the car was sliding in the corners -- I couldn't push any harder because the car just wouldn't give me any more.

"For tomorrow's race, I'll have good top speed, but the car is going to be sliding through the corners, so I won't be able to follow closely enough through the corners to try and pass, so it'll be tough.

"But I have to congratulate Jenson on doing a great job. Today wasn't my best qualifying performance of the season, but we'll still push like crazy tomorrow and fight for some good points from the third row. It looks like it'll be a tough race."

MARTIN WHITMARSH
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

"Today we saw a really strong qualifying lap from Jenson. He missed bagging what would have been McLaren's 147th Formula 1 pole position by just a smidgen over a tenth of a second -- and, when it's that close, you're inevitably just a little disappointed that you didn't get pole. But Jenson will start from the front row tomorrow and will therefore be supremely well placed to mount a combative yet disciplined challenge for victory.

"Clearly, having been quick all weekend, Lewis had hoped for better than fifth place in qualifying. With hindsight, I think we sent him out just a little too close to Mark [Webber]. It's always a tricky balancing act, because you want to send your drivers out so that they have a chance of getting a tow, but you don't want to let them get so close to the cars they're following that they encounter too much dirty air and therefore 'wash out' in the corners; I think that's perhaps what happened to Lewis in Parabolica, hence his slightly disappointing time in sector 3.

"Having said all that, Lewis is every bit as focused on scoring heavily tomorrow as is Jenson, and those who know him [Lewis] won't be surprised to hear me say that he'll be aiming to make up places as soon as the five red lights go out on the startline gantry."

-source: mclaren

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes , McLaren