Jenson Button sat down with the media this afternoon and as usual gave a well-considered analysis of where he stands relative to the opposition. Jenson is clearly thinking a lot about all aspects of the rival teams, as is normal, but what is good is that he is prepared to share his thoughts with the media in a considered way.
“If you look at the times in the races previous to Monaco, they were very competitive. You could say that they have been as quick as us; they just haven’t got it together over the race weekends. You can’t blame KERS cars, I think strategy is important, and a few other things. They haven’t had race wins, but I think they’re quick enough to fight with us for sure.
“The Ferraris will be quick here too. I think they’ve made up ground at every race and they performed very well, especially in Monaco. You can say it’s a different type of circuit, but there’s a lot of slow speed here and they’ve got KERS for the drag up the hill, which should help them quite a bit. So those two teams will be strong.
“McLaren I think will be quick for most of the circuit but I think they’ll struggle so much with Turn 8 that maybe they won’t be there over a lap time. And Toyota maybe will be competitive because they’ve reverted to a previous aero package and they’ll be quite good at a circuit like this.
“If you look through all the data of every race we’ve done their lap times are as competitive as us, certain teams, it’s just that we’ve done a better job than them. They will get it right, just not too often hopefully.”
Button says that Turkey will not favour Red Bull as much as Silverstone, which has more high speed corners, where the RB5 excels. In Istanbul there are long straights and low speed corners, with only the infamous Turn 8 the one where the RBR will stretch its legs.
“If you look at Barcelona, the two high speed corners, they were taking one and a half to two tenths out of us in each, which is massive. Everyone thinks our car must be amazing in the high speed, but it’s not compared to the Red Bull. It’s an area we have to work on. Turn 8 is a long corner and it can damage your tyres.”
Button believes that he stands to lose time to Red Bull turn 8, but believes that the new parts on the front wing might help him find a bit more performance in that iconic corner, if he can dial it in well.
Meanwhile Fernando Alonso said that he feels that Button is able to drive with something in hand, that he has not had to push at all times. According to Alonso the Brawn car has no weak points,
“It is the best car, there is no doubt. It’s very good aerodynamically, it’s very good mechanically, with good grip, because they can really attack the kerbs, ” he said. “They have a very strong car, they have finished all the races with both cars.
“They have very good starts, so there’s no weak point at the moment. It’s very difficult to beat them because it’s difficult to find that weak point. They are the best in every area so that’s quite impressive.”
He rather gloomily added that he thinks Button could wrap up the title by round 12 or 13.