At the end of Friday’s free practice session in Valencia, McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button had mixed feelings about their progress. The team felt they had found the missing key to Button’s struggles since winning the first grand prix of the season and looked forward to testing their understanding. Button told Sky Sports:
“We are quicker than we look but it’s on a knife-edge,” Jenson reflected. “We tried something on the long runs because of the way the car was feeling but it didn’t really go to plan as it made something else worse. So we will go back to the previous settings and start again from there.”
Button’s comments show just how touchy the chassis is and how small changes can make a huge difference in performance given the tight nature of this year’s field. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton feels he’s gone backwards in his progress:
“I haven’t been happy with the car today, but you can’t always get it right,” he told Sky Sports News. “I think this year we’ve been pretty good with getting the balance right throughout practice on Friday and having nice, smooth days, but today hasn’t been one of those days.”.
“I think we know what the problem and I’ve just made all the changes to the car so I’m quite confident that overnight the problems will be rectified and tomorrow will be better.”
As the teams headed into the night, they undoubtably will be working on set up and tweaking for Saturday’s qualifying session. Can they achieve the desired effect for Button and get Hamilton back to where he was? If anyone can, McLaren can but whether this circuit and the conditions prove favorable is another question. Hamilton has a lot to risk this weekend as he recently took over the championship lead from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and remaining on top of the pile is always Hamilton’s goal.