• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Button expecting tough race despite lockout

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Alonso reveals mechanical failure | Vettel doesn't expect to challenge for victory »
Jenson Button followed up his win at Spa with second on the grid at Monza © Press Association

Jenson Button still expects a tough race in the Italian Grand Prix despite McLaren locking out the front row in qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton took pole position and Button joined him on the front row with a final lap which was just 0.123s slower than his team-mate. However, despite McLarens occupying the first two grid slots Button admitted that the race would be a difficult one even if he and Hamilton are in the best possible positions.

"For us both to be on the front row is fantastic for the team," Button said. "I think the last few races have really shown our strength and qualifying both of us on the front row is great; I don't know if any other team has been able to do that this year, so thank you very much! Tomorrow we'll start thinking about in a little while, but even being on the front row is not going to be an easy race here. But it's the best place to be I think."

Button also said that McLaren didn't contemplate asking the drivers to give each other a tow, but said they are more likely to work together to ensure they safely negotiate the first corner.

"We didn't consider trying to tow each other around as some of the others did - it's a difficult thing to get right and if you get it wrong you end up being compromised elsewhere around the lap.

"I don't think tomorrow's race will be all about the start - you want to get a good run into Turn One, admittedly, but if you try to plan something too ambitious, it often doesn't work. There haven't been any first-corner incidents at the front of the grid for the last couple of years here, so Lewis and I will just be focusing on getting our two cars out of the first corner in front of all the others."