No predictions from Jenson Button as Martin Whitmarsh pins hopes on strategy call

2009 World Champion to line up eighth in Shanghai

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 13/04/13 11:54am

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Jenson joined Johnny on the SkyPad earlier in the week

Jenson joined Johnny on the SkyPad earlier in the week

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A cautious Jenson Button has refused to make any predictions about how McLaren might fare in Sunday's Chinese GP.

Despite the introduction of a raft of upgrades, the MP4-28 still appears to be someway off the frontrunning pace, with Button only qualifying eighth after opting to run the medium tyres in the top-ten shoot-out in order to start the race on the slower but more durable compound.

"Double-digit points would be great for us but I'm really not going to predict where we are going to be," Jenson cautioned Sky Sports News. "All we can do is relax and focus on the start of the race because it's going to be quite an unusual start with the soft tyres going off rapidly. Then we'll see where we stand."

Following his third successive defeat of new team-mate Sergio Perez in qualifying, Button's performance also drew praise from team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

"Jenson drove beautifully throughout all three sessions: his seventh positions in both Q1 and Q2 showed that there is potential in our car, and that we can close down the gap to the leaders," said Whitmarsh. "Additionally, he comfortably got through to Q3 and then drove a disciplined lap, with one eye on tomorrow's race strategy, to finish as the highest placed runner on the harder compound tyre.

"We believe that tyre choice in the race could be decisive, and feel that starting Jenson on the Prime gives us a very strong strategy for the race."

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