Button on top form in Japanese free practice sessions

Always encouraging to end the day fastest”

 JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-04

P1 programme                                     20 laps                         1m33.634s                    1st

P2 programme                                     32 laps                         1m31.901s                    1st

“It’s always fun driving around Suzuka, particularly when you have a good car beneath you. This is an amazing circuit – the first sector is phenomenal; there is no rest, I don’t think you breathe through that whole sector. It’s all about getting it together and finding a balance that lets you flow through there.

“And the car feels good around here. I don’t really know what to take from today in terms of where we stand, but the car feels pretty good. We tried a couple of different fuel-loads: on heavier fuel, the car feels okay through the high-speed changes of direction, although there are still some areas to improve – particularly in the long runs.

“The important thing for us is to get the car sorted and ready to challenge for victory.

“My crash helmet for this weekend features the Japanese flag and the words ‘JB’ and ‘Jenson’ in Japanese on the sides and the back. It’s similar to the helmet I wore in Monaco, and I’ll be auctioning it off after the race to raise money for the people who’ve been affected by the earthquakes and tsunami here in Japan.”

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-03

P1 programme                                     18 laps                         1m33.725s (+0.091s)     2nd

P2 programme                                     26 laps                         1m33.245s (+1.344s)     8th

“Suzuka is a fantastic track to drive, especially when the weather’s as beautiful as today.

“Looking at the times, I think Red Bull typically carries less fuel than us during Friday’s long-run practices – that’s often been the case throughout the year – and we’re often closer in the races. I think our long-run pace, particularly on Jenson’s car, looks good: I think we’ve got a good chance of being very competitive. Also, our pace over a single lap also looks very good.

“Actually, I think looking after the tyres during the race will be the biggest challenge, because degradation could be a slight issue for the teams.

“After P2, the stewards were looking at my data after [Vitantonio] Liuzzi parked his car at the exit of Turn 14 – but I did a slower sector time and didn’t use DRS or KERS, so it should be okay.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“It’s always encouraging to end the day fastest, and Jenson really underlined our pace by heading up both of today’s free practice sessions. We’ve made a number of small changes to the cars for Japan and we’re encouraged by the results – not just for this weekend, but as the foundation for development at future races.

“Lewis wasn’t able to capitalise on the softer rubber when his tyres were at their optimum due to several yellow-flag sectors during P2, but, nevertheless, he’s still encouraged by the pace of the car over both a single flying-lap and a long-run.

“It’s always hard to make accurate assessments of other teams’ pace on higher fuel-loads, but we’ve been very focused on our own programme and feel comfortable with our pace given the fuel we were carrying. Obviously, that belief will be borne out tomorrow in qualifying and we hope that our predictions prove to be accurate.”

Button leads Japanes FP2

1 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.901 2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:32.075 3 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:32.095 4 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:32.147 5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:32.448 6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.710 7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.982 8 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.245 9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:33.446 10 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:33.681 11 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:33.705 12 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:33.790 13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.393 14 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:34.557 15 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:34.601 16 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.038 17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:36.225 18 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:37.123 19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.440 20 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:38.093 21 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:38.387 22 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:38.763 23 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:39.800 24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:42.480

..... and  FP11 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.634 2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.725 3 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:34.090 4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:34.3725 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:34.426 6 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:34.937 7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.585 8 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:35.590 9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:36.033 10 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:36.370 11 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:36.487 12 14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:36.700 13 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.948 14 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.949 15 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.103 16 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.197 17 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:38.331 18 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:38.446 19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:39.168 20 20 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1:39.946 21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:40.872 22 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:41.019 23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:41.106 24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:41.775

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