Encouraged by their display in India, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez will be looking for more of the same in Abu Dhabi...
Encouraged by their display in India, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez will be looking for more of the same in Abu Dhabi.
Jenson Button: "I think the whole team ought to feel encouraged by our pace in India last weekend. Although the race didn't come together for me, our overall speed and consistency were the strongest they've been all season, and, as always, the race team delivered on all fronts to ensure that, strategically and logistically, we lost nothing to our rivals. We'll certainly be taking that momentum into Abu Dhabi this weekend. While it's a very different type of track - the final sector is much more stop-start and reliant on a strong mechanical balance - I've always enjoyed racing around the Yas Marina circuit and I think we can once again score points to consolidate our position in the constructors' world championship. Now that the drivers' world championship has been conclusively settled, I think the Formula 1 community will enjoy these last three races. While we'll be competing with one another as fiercely as ever, we'll also be treating our last three outings as opportunities to develop and understand the package we'll take into the 2014 season. For me, that's exciting: I'll be looking forward to providing my input to ensure we end the year in as strong a position as possible, so as to be as well prepared for the new challenges of 2014 as we can be."
Sergio Perez: "I think that the Indian Grand Prix was my strongest performance of the season so far, and a good example of what I feel I'm capable of when I have a solid car beneath me, and the opportunity to push and press my opponents. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. You won't be surprised to hear that I'll be aiming to carry that momentum over into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Yas Marina circuit is one of the most impressive and sophisticated racetracks in the world - the first two sectors, which are a series of high-speed sweeps and hard stops, are great fun to drive, while the final sector is a little trickier, because although it's much slower it requires great precision. Getting the set-up right around here is always a compromise, also. After several races of poor luck, it was great to reverse that trend in India. Now, of course, I'll be looking for another strong finish to carry me into my 'home' race in Austin, Texas, next month. I would love to be able to give my 'home' fans something extra to cheer about!"
Martin Whitmarsh - team principal: "With three races remaining, and with the drivers' world championship now settled, it's only natural that Formula 1's collective focus should start turning towards 2014. However, there are three fantastic grands prix remaining this year, and, buoyed by a respectable result in India last weekend, we'll be looking to ensure that we continue to maximise our performance at each of those last three rounds. In Jenson and Checo, we have two excellent team-spirited drivers who have motivated the entire workforce with their never-say-die attitude to this difficult season. Despite their contrasting fortunes in India last week, both guys showed the attitude and determination to fight hard from the race's start to its finish. They have been an inspiration, often in adverse circumstances, and, in turn, the whole team is working hard to provide them with the machinery with which they can keep pushing until the very last lap of the very last race. I think everyone in Formula 1 enjoys the fantastic facilities on Yas Island, and the thrill and spectacle of a dusk race make this weekend a truly special event on the calendar. I hope we can once again deliver a good race - not only for the benefit of everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but also for the benefit of Formula 1 as a whole, and most especially the fans."