I hope you see what I did there.
Anyway, Jenson Button’s the subject of a Q&A at the official Formula 1 site, and he’s feeling pretty good heading into this weekend’s grand prix, with one red, Spanish caveat.
Fernando Alonso is looking strong.
Here’s a bit from Mr. Button:
Q: So looking back at Hockenheim, was it really the updates that helped you to P2?
JB: Yes. It was the second time this year that the race pace was really there – there was nobody quicker – so that is good news. The last race was definitely a big step in the right direction, so let’s hope that we will have more of the same this weekend. It would be nice to have a dry qualifying – that would help a lot as we have a couple of things here that should help us when fine-tuning for this circuit. But the majority of the car is what we had in Hockenheim, as it was only a week ago, and we’ve been reasonably happy there.
Q: McLaren now holds the fastest pit stop record – it was performed on your car at Hockenheim. Do you notice or find yourself saying, ‘Hey man, that was quick’?
JB: You do, and now our reaction time becomes even more crucial to the pitting time. (laughs) Now we have to be ready for our crew. And that pit stop really did help me to get second place in the race, so thank you very much guys. And let’s do it again here!
It’s hard to argue that he and the team turned things around for him in Germany. (Shall we say it was a different story for Lewis Hamilton?) But there’s still that guy in the faster of the two Ferrari cars with whom to deal:
Q: But do you still see chances?
JB: Well, it’s a massive gap to Fernando (Alonso). Fernando and Ferrari have done an amazing job over the last few races and I know how difficult it is to come back from there. Actually I am not thinking about the championship – and every driver that you ask this weekend will tell you the same. We want to go racing, we want to fight in the front, and of course we want to win. Everything is so far in the future that it is useless to stare at the standings right now.
I’m never sure how much salt to take with the phrase “massive gap,” but Alonso’s a full DNF ahead of Mark Webber at this point. And Jenson’s 90-odd points back from the leader.
No wonder he isn’t thinking about the championship, huh?
Heading into this race, while there’s a temptation to turn eyes toward Button — has he sorted himself out? — or Hamilton — is he about to implode? — or to the two Red Bull drivers — what do they have to do to pull to the front? — I think this last race before the summer break is about just one guy:
If he could grab a podium (or better), he could head into the break with a huge amount of momentum and really force Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus into a bit of a panic. And we all know Alonso knows this. He understands that he can make a huge, possibly season-defining statement this weekend.
So let’s watch and see if he can.