Spanish Grand Prix Race Report
"A solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in."
Circuit de Catalunya, Sunday May 12
JENSON BUTTON, MP4-28A/03
|Fastest Lap:||1m27.957s (+1.740s), 14th|
|Pitstops:||Three: laps 11 (2.20s), 28 (2.64s) and 46 (2.80s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Pri]|
“That was an interesting race.
“The lap to the grid was very slow, which hurt us, and my start wasn’t great. I had no grip, so Turn One was a mess. I was unlucky to end up 17th at the end of lap one.
“We took the same approach as in China, adopting a different strategy from the others. To finish eighth shows what a good job the team did with the strategy. I don’t know whether we’ve improved our package or not, but we certainly beat some cars that we possibly shouldn’t have beaten.
“Still, it’s a positive that both cars finished in the points, and hopefully this’ll be the start of an upward trend. We gathered a lot of useful information today, and we’ll be working on that over the next few races in order to continue developing MP4-28.
“I want to say a big thank-you for all the support I’ve received from the British fans this weekend. It’s great to see so many Vodafone ‘rocket red’ caps and T-shirts in the grandstands. Hopefully, we’ll have a full house at Silverstone and we’ll be stronger there.
“There’s still a lot of work to do. It’s tough at the moment, but I’m pleased that we’re making the best of what we have.”
SERGIO PEREZ, MP4-28A/04
|Fastest Lap:||1m27.251s (+1.034s), 10th|
|Pitstops:||Four: laps 10 (2.39s), 23 (3.96s), 30 (2.98s) and 50 (3.51s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Opt-Pri]|
“That wasn’t the race I’d hoped for. It’s so difficult to manage these tyres. We didn’t do a perfect job, and, like many drivers, I required four pitstops.
“So I didn’t maximise the full potential of our car today, so I wasn’t happy in that respect, but, having said that, I think it’s been a stronger weekend overall for us.
“Our car is still improving, and I think we can do a slightly better job at Monaco. After that I hope we’ll be able to gradually close the gap to the cars in front of us over the next few races.”
MARTIN WHITMARSH - Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Jenson drove a typically classy race to work his way back from a very unlucky start, which saw him drop almost to the back of the field, all the way through to eighth place at the finish.
“To do that, on this circuit, where overtaking is notoriously difficult, and in this car, which we know is not yet as competitive as we need it to be, was a seriously impressive feat. And to do it on a three-stop strategy, managing the tyres with impeccable care yet still keeping the pace consistently strong while so doing, was more remarkable still.
“By contrast, like most drivers here today, Checo opted for a four-stop strategy – but, like Jenson, he also drove a very good race, finishing in ninth place not far behind his far more experienced team-mate. At the end of the race Checo’s tyres required diligent nursing, but like Jenson he managed the situation very capably.
“We scored six world championship points today, and of course we aren’t satisfied with that. Nonetheless, to score points with both cars in what was a decidedly technical race is a very creditable achievement, and constitutes a solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in.
“Next we go to Monaco, a grand prix that McLaren has won a record 15 times in the past – and, although we aren’t predicting a 16th McLaren victory on those famously tortuous streets this year, we’ll be doing our utmost there to score as many world championship points there as we possibly can."