“It'll be tough to make progress tomorrow”
Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Saturday September 5
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will start 15th and 16th respectively for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix.
Jenson qualified 16th, and receives a five-place grid penalty, but will start 15th owing to four cars receiving bigger penalties, which relegate them to the back of the grid. For the same reason, Fernando will start 16th despite qualifying 17th.
#14 Fernando Alonso
FP3 13th 1m26.632s (+2.088s) 9 laps
Q1 17th overall 1m26.154s (on Options)
will start 16th following PU penalty
“Getting knocked out of Q1 was a bit frustrating. However, this is a period of learning for the entire team, and we need to go work through it together. You can’t seize every race weekend as an opportunity, you have to work through them and learn.
“We know we’re not in the best position – we’re not competitive right now – so we need to keep working in every area to improve the car.
“Nevertheless, this is always a special weekend; the fans have been very friendly and welcoming. It always feels good to race in front of the tifosi.”
#22 Jenson Button
FP3 14th 1m26.750s (+2.206s) 14 laps
overall 1m26.058s (on Options)
will start 15th following PU penalty
“The balance in qualifying was reasonably okay, but I had too much understeer in the car. The first run felt good, and the track usually grips up, so I added some front wing, but it was probably half of what was needed.
“It was a reasonable lap, but even if everything had been perfect, we still didn’t have the pace to bridge the three-tenths to make it through into Q2.
“It’s a shame, but we always knew this would be a tough race for us. Even with a good start, we won’t be able to hold people back in the race – because we’re not fast enough in a straight line – so they’ll pass us. I’m not sure that tomorrow will be too exciting for us, but we’ll do our best.
“The fans have been so supportive at a difficult time – I hope we can repay them soon.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“Yet again failing to make it out of Q1 is difficult and disappointing for the entire team. So I must give thanks to everyone for maintaining their positivity and motivation, not least Fernando and Jenson, who are a credit to our organisation. Our sponsors and fans deserve a big shout-out too – thanks guys.
“Tomorrow is likely to be a difficult race for us. Although we won’t start from the very back – owing to the grid penalties that will relegate four cars to starting positions behind us – it’ll be tough to make progress tomorrow along Monza’s notoriously long, fast straights.
“Still, our drivers will race their hearts out, and anything can happen at Monza.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport
“We knew coming into Monza that it was going to be a difficult race, as the drivers are on full throttle for most of the lap.
“We utilised yesterday’s results to find a good set-up for the aero, chassis and the power unit, but as the ERS assist on the straight line is still lacking, qualifying was extremely difficult.
“In race conditions, however, the energy management use is different, so, as a team, we hope to see some improvement.”