• British GP - Qualifying

Button dedicates third to late father

ESPN Staff
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Jenson Button says he his father John was on his mind after he claimed third on the grid for the British Grand Prix.

Button was one of a number of drivers to benefit on the medium dry compound at the conclusion of the session as the track dried, putting him third on the grid. His father passed away at the start of the year and Button admits it made the achievement all the more special.

"It was quite an emotional slowing down lap," said Button, who is wearing a pink helmet this weekend in honour of his father. "Qualifying is qualifying and the race is tomorrow, but when you do a lap you are happy with in front of your home crowd, I think the old boy would be very happy - it would have meant a lot. I have so much support from the fans, it has been overwhelming, a lot of people wearing pink in respect of my old boy. He is definitely smiling down on me."

When asked how happy he was to achieve third in front of a home crowd, Button said: "Like you could not believe! I know it's only a third in qualifying, for us at the moment and the last 18 months we had no chance of getting this result. It's also nice in front of the home crowd to qualify well.

"I felt like I could read the conditions pretty well. But in Q3 for the last timed lap, which was everything, I said to the guys on the radio 'I've got some wheel spin on fifth gear in a straight line, this isn't going to happen'. They said 'just push, we've got nothing to lose'. We were in a very different position to Nico, we had to take the risk to gain the position."

An earlier mistake very nearly cost Button his place in the final shoot-out, running wide at the final corner during Q1 and falling foul of the FIA's "no tolerance" approach to corner-cutting - having his time deleted as a result. He narrowly scraped through the session and Button is delighted he could build on the promise McLaren had shown in the changeable conditions.

"All the way through qualifying the pace was there, not compared to Mercedes but with everyone else the pace was there. When I did my lap in Q1 on the option tyre in the dry I was about two seconds quicker than anyone when I did it, but made the mistake of losing my rear on the last corner so it was disallowed. I thought I was going to be out so to come through and be third in Q3 is a good result for today and I'm really happy I could do it in front of the home crowd."

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