Jenson Button was left confused after qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Englishman has looked strong all weekend but suddenly when the it came time to set qualifying times the balance that he had enjoyed in the opening three sessions had disappeared.
Button was therefore only able to qualify 13th and afterwards admitted that he couldn’t understand the issue. Speaking to the media, including Crash.net, the 2009 world champion said:
“I can’t understand why the car was good in practice but not in qualifying,” admitted Button. “I’m a bit confused by it. I’ve really enjoyed driving the car around here this weekend and it’s not normally the most enjoyable circuit but it’s been a lot of fun and I feel that we’ve made good progress over the weekend.”
Abu Dhabi is unique on the calendar in that the first session of each day is run in conditions vastly different to qualifying and the race. The opening sessions are held in the afternoon with higher track and air temperatures and it creates a situation where a lot of data is of little value. Even so Button was pleased with his car in both sessions yesterday and expected to qualify well.
“This morning the car felt good and obviously there’s a big change in temperature from the afternoon. Normally this is better for us but I just couldn’t get the tyres working. I didn’t have any grip and it felt like we took a lot of downforce off the car. We had to take a little bit off before qualifying because we had run out of front wing.
“It was really difficult and I’m puzzled as to why it wasn’t working. In the same way I’m surprised by the pace of the car this weekend and in India. It has moved forward a lot which is positive and now it’s important to understand why that is.”
having struggled for most of the season with an unbalanced car that did little to offer the driver any confidence Button went on to comment about how much he had enjoyed driving the car this weekend and how he hopes it offers signs of encouragement for the rest of the season:
“For most of the weekend I’ve been very happy with our progress and the car has been a joy to drive. There’s progress that we’ve made over the last couple of races and the car is a lot better to work with. There’s some limitations but there always is with a car but the next three races we can still have some good results. This race will be more difficult starting from 13th but I think that we can have a reasonable result.”