McLaren had high hopes about their car updates introduced at Spain, but altogether they have failed to bring much progress. Sergio Perez qualified 9th while team mate Jenson Button will start from 14th.
Sergio Perez, MP4-28A-04: “We’ve had a difficult couple of days – I had problems throughout practice – so to get through to Q3 was a great result, and something we really weren’t expecting. I’m very pleased because I got absolutely everything out of the car.
“So we’ll go into the race tomorrow looking to maximise our potential. If we can manage that, I think we should be satisfied. The whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team is determined to keep on fighting. I’ve seen how hard the guys in the garage, and everybody back at MTC, are working to get us back to the front – so today’s result just makes me even more hungry to justify all their efforts.”
Jenson Button, MP4-28A-03: "Congratulations to Checo – he did a great job, particularly in Q2. He did everything right this afternoon and showed that some of our recent upgrades are definitely working. It’s not yet enough, but it’s rewarding to see that we’re making some progress.
“For me, the car felt okay in Q1, but, in Q2, I couldn’t find the grip for my final run. It felt as though the tyre pressures may have been too high, but to be honest we’re not yet quite sure exactly what happened. So, tomorrow, from 14th on the grid, whatever we do will be difficult. It’ll be a tricky afternoon, but we’ll definitely do our best to make the best of it.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “Checo did a fantastic job in qualifying today – especially in Q2 during which he drove a sensational lap to be seventh-quickest.
“In Q3 we considered taking the tactical option, in other words not running him at all in order to conserve an extra set of tyres. But, in the end, on the basis that he was driving so well, we decided to go for it in the hope that he might repeat his Q2 form relative to his principal opposition. As things panned out, he lost a little time in sector three on his best Q3 lap and ended up in P9. But, anyway, I want to say ‘Well done Checo’, because he was extremely impressive here this afternoon.
“Jenson had a difficult qualifying – and, although we haven’t yet had a chance to examine his data thoroughly, it would appear that perhaps his tyre pressures may have been set a little too high. But, whatever the problem turns out to have been, I’m certain that, had he felt comfortable in his car, he’d have been able to go through to Q3 as Checo did.
“Having said that, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ ambitions extend to a great deal more than merely going through to Q3, and it’s clear that our MP4-28 still requires a lot of development before it becomes as competitive as we need it to be. But we’re gradually understanding more about its shortcomings, and I’m sure we’ll get there in the end.
“In the meantime, both Checo and Jenson will give 100 per cent tomorrow in their efforts to score as many world championship points as possible for themselves, for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, and last but not least for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ many fans all over the world.”