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McLaren Qualifying reports 2011 Belgian GP

Lewis Hamilton: “It was an incredibly eventful hour: it’s hard work trying to determine exactly what’s happening with the weather and what tyres are needed, then finding the gap and getting a good lap under your belt. One of the biggest worries is that the track is drying all the time, so you’re always pushing to find the grip; but you also have to be mindful that you can come around on the next lap to find that it’s raining again, which can catch you out. That’s why it’s such an amazing and unpredictable venue. At the end of Q2, I came across the two Williams cars going quite slowly. I was able to get past Pastor [Maldonado] at the final corner, but I lost a little time in so doing. At the exit of Turn One, once we’d taken the chequered flag, we made contact; but fortunately I got back to the pits and the guys were able to change the front wing and patch up my sidepod. As ever, they did a great job to get me out again for Q3. The fortunate thing is that we were therefore able to complete the final session. Most importantly, too, we’re in a great position to fight for the race win tomorrow.”

Jenson Button: “Failing to get into Q3 was a misunderstanding between the team and me. I’d just done a fast lap, and was cooling the tyres, not knowing that there wasn’t any more time left in the session. If I’d known, obviously I wouldn’t have slowed down on my final lap. Obviously, with the track getting drier with every lap, it was vital to be going quickly until the end of the session. I think I was second- or third-quickest when I did my lap; it’s just a pity I that didn’t get a chance to put in another lap. It’s very disappointing. Obviously, in Q1, I was a second quicker than everyone. Our car is clearly one of the quickest around here, and it’s going to be tough starting back in 13th. But I’ve just got to deal with it now. I think I’ll just have a cup of tea and move on from it.”

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