After a difficult time in yesterday’s free practice sessions for the Australian Grand Prix, McLaren duo Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez will be doing rain dances today as they ready themselves for qualifying this afternoon.
Button and Pérez finished eleventh and thirteenth-fastest in the afternoon’s session, and both seemed a little disheartened with the lack of competitiveness in the MP4-28.
Speaking after attending the Australian Grand Prix’s inaugural breakfast event at the Crown Palladium, Button admitted that his only hope of being able to run at the front was if it rains. The good news he had was waking up to some very overcast skies this morning…
“I was hoping that it was going to come this afternoon [during practice and qualifying],” he said to RichardsF1.com.
“It was a very long night spent trying to look through the data and understand the car. We have a few issues – one of which is how it rides – but we’ve worked on it overnight and hopefully we’ll see the benefit of the team’s hard work.
“It’s not the way you want to start a season,” he continued. “[But] the team is very strong. You don’t win so many titles and races without that, and I have a positive feeling that we can pull it back. It’s just a matter of time.”
Button’s new team-mate Pérez was even more downcast and desperately praying for wet weather.
“We were expecting to be off the pace, but not as much as we were. It was a surprise for us. It’s hard to see us where we are. We are bad with low fuel and also on high fuel. It’s going to be a difficult start of the season for us, but we are the best team and McLaren will come back.”
A points finish is still possible, Button argues.
“It will definitely be possible at the first race,” the 2009 World Champion added.
“But for us to be at the front this weekend, it will be tough. But if we get strange conditions, then that could help us.”