Jenson Button enjoyed mixed fortunes in Jerez today, losing a lot of priceless time to a fuel pump failure before setting an impressive fastest lap at the end of the day – despite his restricted mileage.
Button set his time on Pirelli’s harder compound in the closing minutes of the session. Despite being 0.9s ahead of his nearest rival he played down the significance.
“It’s been pretty mixed today,” said Button. “The first day of testing there’s so much excitement within the teams and the paddock. For us it was very short-lived, doing three laps this morning and having a fuel pump issue. It’s never what you want at the start of a test, but it’s better to have it at the start I guess than the end of a test, so we can solve the issue.
“Got out this afternoon and did basic work for the aero testing, and then we were able to do some runs – not long runs and not short runs either – on different tyres to just get a feel for the car, and tweak things here and there in terms of feel. So in terms of the feel of the car it’s a nice starting point, but not the mileage we’d hoped for on the first day of testing.
In terms of the way the car feels there’s nothing that stands out – ‘wow, there’s something we’ve got to work on there’ – so it’s a good base. I’ve already had the question whether it’s a championship winning car. Who knows? The important thing is there’s a nice feeling of the car.
“Lap times mean nothing right now, they don’t even mean anything at the last test. It’s when you get to the first race, and we’ll have a very different car then as every team will, and that’s when we really need to show how quick we are. Today’s testing, and everyone’s doing different things. The important thing is the car really does relate to the simulator, and that’s something that’s good.”
Told that Felipe Massa had called his time “incredible”, Button continued to play it down.
“To be honest I was surprised when I saw it in the dash, but it doesn’t mean anything. Some people run less fuel than others, some people run a lot more fuel than others, so who knows.”