By Jonathan Noble
Sunday, April 19th 2009
Q: How was it in qualifying, are you disappointed?
Jenson Button: It was okay. My last run in qualifying was not too bad. Because we struggled a little bit because we were with the FFA - it wasn't working in the high speed corners. Well it wasn't working on one side so I lost a little bit of time, but still not enough to be anywhere near pole position.
We struggled in Q2 compared to the Red Bulls, they seem to be very competitive. Three tenths is quite a lot of time so I don't how it's going to go on Sunday. We'll see what fuel loads they are on, but I am guessing they are going to be on pretty similar to us. Our race pace, certainly looking at today and yesterday, seems to be a bit better than the Red Bulls but we are behind. It is always very difficult.
But it makes the race interesting for sure, going to make it very exciting. A little bit of a surprise but in Melbourne they were also very quick. We had the legs on them, but I don't know about here.
Q: After such a great start to the season does it actually feel a disappointment not to be on pole?
JB: It's not a disappointment because we are still up there, we are still fourth and fifth, so it's not really a big issue. It's just going to be very tough on Sunday to come away with a victory. It makes it interesting, especially starting fifth on the grid.
Q: Showers are predicted for just before the race on Sunday?
JB: Oh really, well our forecast is saying it will be dry until the evening. So we will see. For some reason it is normally damp at the start, even if it's not raining. But if it is dry I think we can still have a good race, I don't know what strategy the two Red Bulls are on - even if they are on the same fuel load they may be on a different strategy than us so we will have to see.
Q: Given the problems they had with their driveshafts, do you think you have a reliability advantage over the Red Bulls?
JB: Well we haven't had reliability problems so you could say that we have had good reliability and they have had issues, but I am sure they have solved them.
Q: Do you think the Renault is very light on fuel?
JB: I don't know, we'll see. They were 0.3s off us in Q2 so I'd say they are probably running lighter. We will know in a couple of hours I suppose, but I wouldn't say the Renault is the biggest worry where we finish at the end of the race. It is more the Red Bulls.
Q: But even you coming away from here with a podium, given your championship position, would be a good thing.
JB: Yeah it would be a great thing but we are here to win the race so we will fight for that and if we finish third or fourth we will take away the points and come back fighting in Bahrain.
Q: Having got accustomed to starting from the front is it strange to be back in the pack?
JB: Well it's not really back in the pack though is it, it's still quite near the front. People have won races from a lot further back in normal circumstances so, with the way things are and the different fuel loads in Formula 1, and obviously the difference in the soft and hard tyres, there is a lot to play for, and I think it makes for a very exciting race. Not an easy one for us though.
Q: Does it make you more nervous when you are a bit further back that you will get caught up in an incident?
JB: Well Turn 1 is always more of a nightmare when you are further back, but this place is not as much of a problem as some circuits, because you are not heavily braking into Turn1 so it's a bit more flowing. It should be fine.
Q: Is it good that you are not racing KERS cars?
JB: That is a bonus for sure because you have got no chance of overtaking a KERS car. I don't know what the wind is going to do in the race, but there is a lot of headwind on the backstraight so overtaking should be made easier because you can tow up behind a car and that makes a big difference here so that could make overtaking good. And that is what we are looking for.
Q: With Renault using an interim diffuser, do you feel the advantage you had is being eroded?
JB: Well Red Bull haven't got a different diffuser and they are quicker than us so you wouldn't put it down to the diffuser. They are the team that had 0.3s on us in Q2, it wasn't another team so. There performance is very good and we need to see if they have the same performance in the race on Sunday.