• Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying

FIA made the right call to postpone - Button

ESPN Staff
March 16, 2013 « Hamilton admits to fortune after spin | McLaren still believes in problematic MP4-28 »
Jenson Button admitted McLaren was being helped by the wet conditions © Sutton Images

Jenson Button believes the FIA race stewards made the right decision to postpone qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Having had a half hour delay before the start of Q1, more heavy rain after the first part of qualifying eventually saw Q2 and Q3 postponed until Sunday morning with the light fading in Melbourne. Button said the decision was a difficult one for the stewards to make but that they should be given the benefit of the doubt.

"It's pretty wet but when we're actually running I think we've got pretty good conditions and as soon as we stop running it chucks it down with rain," Button said. "It's so difficult for us to judge, when the FIA does something good in terms of safety we're very happy and then when they do something wrong when it's too wet we're unhappy so it's a really difficult call for the FIA, but I think they've called it right. It's just upsetting for the fans out there.

"For us there's so much pent up energy and adrenaline we've got to find a way to get rid of that now, but it's sad for the fans. They've been here all day and they've stayed strong even in the rainy and windy conditions but we weren't able to put on a show; that's the way it is and hopefully we will tomorrow for them."

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh added: "Nobody wants to cancel and everyone is aware that lots of people turn up, stand in the grandstands and get very cold - we were cold enough on the pit wall. But we also have to respect the fact that this show, this piece of entertainment, is inherently dangerous enough when the conditions are appropriate to the equipment.

"We've got cars that, by necessity, run close to the ground - some of them too close to the ground - and when you have a track where there are puddles on apexes of relatively high-speed corners then I personally certainly wouldn't go out in those sorts of conditions. I think we have to respect the fact that when there is laying water Formula One cars are prone to aquaplaning.

"To go out at all these guys are extremely brave, but with the cars we have these days, you simply can't go out in these kinds of conditions."

Asked about the effect the extra work on Sunday will have on his race preparation, Button said he didn't foresee any issues for McLaren.

"My coffee stop in the beach is blown but there you go! On a serious note for the guys it's a lot more stressful for them; they're trying to reset-up a car for the race after qualifying. It's going to be a busy, busy day tomorrow but we've done it before and I think their skills will come through tomorrow."

McLaren's struggles were relatively negated by the conditions, and Button thinks a dry qualifying will be much more difficult.

"The ride's a little bit better but I think we've lucked in to this weather a little bit. I think we were quicker in these conditions - not on the wet but on the inter tyre - and I think judging it right has made a big difference to us and when we put our lap time in. It's going to be a tricky day tomorrow because it looks like it's going to be sunny but we'll do the best we can."