Japanese GP: McLaren Friday report

Jenson Button: "This morning was pretty tricky; I couldn't get a balance with the car at all, and was really struggling with understeer through the first sector. You give away so much time when you've got understeer through the esses because...

Jenson Button:

"This morning was pretty tricky; I couldn't get a balance with the car at all, and was really struggling with understeer through the first sector. You give away so much time when you've got understeer through the esses because it's tougher to get the car to change direction.

"For the afternoon, we made a few changes and the car felt a lot more responsive. We're quite a bit off the pace of the Red Bulls, but we've got to look at getting the best out of the new package that we've got.

"And that requires extensive testing, which can take a couple of runs. I don't think we got the best out of our new parts, but we've made some good steps forward. We did a good job today of improving the car, but there's still more to come. That's encouraging, we're just not there yet.

Lewis Hamilton:

"I damaged the car in the early laps of the first session. I was only on my second fast lap, and was probably pushing too hard too soon. I didn't go that wide - it wasn't that big an off - but the gravel was very slippery at that point. A couple of other drivers had moments there and got away with it. But that's life.

"The guys in the garage did an incredible job to rebuild the car - they really had to work hard, and they got me out for the last 10 minutes of the second session. They are so supportive in this team: if one person is down, they'll do their best to lift that person up. That's what we do as a team.

"I had to run the older rear wing in the afternoon, so I didn't really get a proper feel for where the car is. And, hopefully, we'll have a second new rear wing for qualifying and the race. Tomorrow's another day - and it looks like it's going to rain, so everybody will have to start again.

"They say bad things come in threes - so after Monza, Singapore and today, I hope this run of bad luck is over and done with."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal:

"Lewis's accident this morning cost us some track time, but we still managed to amass a serious amount of data from both his car, and from Jenson's more extensive running in both sessions.

"While the team did a fantastic job to get Lewis's car turned around in time for the final 10 minutes of second practice, due to a shortage of new components, he was unable to run with an optimal bodywork package, which slightly compromised his final pace. But we are already pushing incredibly hard to rectify that, and I'm confident we'll have new parts here in time for tomorrow.

"Nonetheless, we've got a solid basis for the rest of the weekend, and we'll be focusing on extracting the maximum from the new parts for the remainder of the weekend - something we didn't quite achieve today due to the breadth of analysis required and the shortfall in run-time that we experienced."

-source: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Lewis Hamilton , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams McLaren