Jenson Button was delighted with third place in qualifying for the British Grand Prix today as he proved his wet-weather skills to qualify behind Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
The 2009 world champion is renowned for his skills in changeable conditions, and this was clear at Silverstone today as he put in a last-ditch lap using dry tires on a damp circuit to secure his best qualifying result since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
In that time, McLaren’s form has been very poor, and he admitted that there was a sense of relief after qualifying.
“Like you cannot believe,” he admitted. “I know it’s only a third in qualifying but for us at the moment, and for the last 18 months, we had no chance of getting this result.”
The result was made all the more sweet by the fact that he secured P3 at his home race in England.
“Yeah it’s nice in front of the home crowd to qualify well and all the way through qualifying, the pace was there. Not compared to the Mercedes, but with everyone else the pace was there.
“To come through and be third in Q3 is a good result for today and I’m really happy that I could do it here in front of the home crowd.”
Button is racing with a special pink livery on his helmet this weekend in memory of his father, John, who died in January at the age of 70. This result will unquestionably give both Jenson and the team a huge boost, but turning it into some solid points on Sunday is a must.
You can watch the British Grand Prix live from 7:30am ET tomorrow on CNBC and Live Extra.
Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).
Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.
However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
- If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
- If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.
While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.
The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.
As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.
The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.