Japanese Grand Prix FP3 and Qualifying Report
“We’ll take whatever the weather brings tomorrow”
Suzuka, Saturday October 4
Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button will line up seventh and eighth respectively for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Both drivers consistently set lap-times inside the top 10 throughout all the weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions, underlining the positive developmental momentum that the team has been able to establish into the second half of the season.
With the heavy rains and high winds of Super Typhoon Phanfone expected to hit the region tonight, it remains to be seen whether the running of Sunday’s race will be affected by the anticipated extreme conditions.
KEVIN MAGNUSSEN, MP4-29-02
|FP3||16 laps||1m35.251s (+2.023s)||7th|
|Q3||(on Options)||1m34.242s||7th overall|
“I really enjoyed today, but I was slightly disappointed with P7, because I don’t think I got the perfect lap from my second set of tyres in Q3. I made a few mistakes on that lap, so there were probably a few tenths left on the table.
“In terms of the weather, and the predicted arrival of the typhoon tomorrow, I’m taking it one day at a time. I’ll just look out of my hotel window in the morning and see what the weather is doing. I think it’s going to be wet, but let’s wait and see.”
JENSON BUTTON, MP4-29-03
|FP3||16 laps||1m35.549s (+2.321s)||10th|
|Q3||(on Options)||1m34.317s||8th overall|
“My final lap in Q3 was the best lap I’d done all day. We didn’t get the timing of the previous runs right during Q1 and Q2, but the traffic was pretty much perfect for my final run.
“It was a good effort, but I still locked up going into the last chicane, which frustratingly gave me a small flat-spot. Still, we won’t use those tyres in the race, so it’s not too much of a problem. I’m not even sure if I lost any time, but it was a bit messy.
“Everyone thinks it’s going to be massively wet tomorrow. We don’t have too much of a different set-up between wet and dry, so it’s better to do well in qualifying. I’ll just take whatever the weather brings tomorrow.”
ERIC BOULLIER - Racing director, McLaren Mercedes
“Today we were able to build on the positive developmental work we did yesterday in FP1 and, in particular, FP2, and the result was a workmanlike P7 for Kevin and P8 for Jenson.
“Kevin was unhappy with his Q3 lap, feeling that he made a couple of errors that cost him a couple of tenths or more. Nonetheless, he has given another very good account of himself, all the more so when you consider that rookies usually struggle to get to grips with the myriad complexities of Suzuka.
“Jenson, too, was less than fully satisfied with his Q3 performance, posting a lap 0.075s slower than Kevin’s.
“Having said that, from their P7 and P8 grid slots, both Kevin and Jenson are well placed to score world championship points in tomorrow’s race, whether or not it’s rain-affected, as in truth we expect it to be.”