McLaren Honda driver Jenson Button will line up ninth for Sunday afternoon’s Malaysian Grand Prix, having maximised the car’s potential during Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.
It was the result of plenty of hard work from the entire team: with the car off the pace during Friday practice, the engineers burnt the midnight oil to improve the balance for Saturday, and Jenson reveled in the car’s improved handling to comfortably ease into Q3.
“I really enjoyed qualifying! It’s never nice to be just 0.029s behind the car in front, but that wasn’t too bad – we were either going to be eighth or ninth, and we ended up being ninth. I’m happy with that,” he said afterwards.
“During Q1, I had issues with traffic; I had to out-brake Esteban Ocon into Turn Nine during my quick lap, and you shouldn’t have to be doing that during qualifying. I also had a little spin at Turn 14 when I lost all my downforce behind one of the Renaults. That first session was busy.”
“Still, we’ve improved the car a lot since practice, but the team has done a great job to improve it. Qualifying was the first time this weekend that I really felt comfortable. Hopefully we can show well in the race – there’s no reason why we can’t fight the cars around us.”