Button: Pole feels almost like a win
Jenson Button admitted claiming his first pole for over three years felt nearly as special as a Grand Prix victory in wake of a stunning Spa performance.
Last Updated: 01/09/12 5:32pm
Jenson Button admitted claiming his first pole position for over three years nearly felt as special as a Grand Prix victory after the McLaren driver delivered one of the best Saturday performances seen so far this season at Spa.
Since joining McLaren in 2010 Button has been consistently outperformed over a single lap by team-mate Lewis Hamilton and had not started on pole since the early stages of his championship-winning year at Brawn in 2009.
But that all changed around at a sun-kissed Spa on Saturday afternoon as the 32-year-old uncorked three stunning laps, one in Q2 and two in Q3, around the longest circuit on the calendar to conclusively blow his usual rivals away to snare his eighth career pole - and his first for McLaren.
Afterwards, basking in the glow of the overdue achievement, he acknowledged that it was a special moment for him after such a long wait.
"It's been quite a long time since I got my last pole position - it was back in 2009 Monaco I think - so it's pretty emotional," Button admitted.
"Sunday's have been good for the past couple of years but Saturdays have not gone perfectly you could say.
"A great qualifying session and it's so important to come back after just a long break with a good result on Saturday. I know the race is tomorrow but this is close to winning a Grand Prix for me because it's been so long."
The former World Champion, who had gone into the weekend stressing that he wouldn't be cast into a support role for Hamilton's title bid owing to the fact he is 88 points adrift of Fernando Alonso, admitted everything had come together perfectly in the set-up of his MP4-27 in wake of Friday's near washout of a practice day.
Asked what had made the difference for him on this particular Saturday, Button replied: "If I knew it would make everything great!
"But just got the balance right this morning. The car's been working well all day. Limited running we've all had but every run we've done has been reasonably good and we've just tickled it, especially through qualifying, and the balance is to my liking.
"I have a style that's quite difficult to find a car that works for me in qualifying but when it does we can get pole position."