McLaren left Korea bitterly disappointed after only managing to pick up one point. Jenson Button was taken out in an accident on the first lap, whilst Lewis Hamilton struggled to tenth place. The result essentially ends any realistic chance either British driver has of winning the championship this year.
After battling to fourth place a week ago in Japan, Button’s race was over before it almost began. He had qualified a disappointing eleventh on the grid and was taken out by Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi at the end of the long back straight. Button was visibly annoyed by the accident and was heard to call the Japanese driver an “idiot” over the team radio.
“Nico [Rosberg] and I then had a good drag-race down the back straight on lap one. I braked really late for Turn Three, then suddenly Kamui’s [Kobayashi] car was climbing all over my car’s right-hand side,” he said afterwards.
“It’s extremely disappointing. This is a long race, with so much opportunity for everyone. It’s a great circuit for overtaking, so it’s surprising to see people behaving like that on the first lap.”
“I no longer have a realistic chance to win the world championship, so I’ll be enjoying myself over the final four races. Scoring points for the team in the constructors’ world championship will be the most important priority, so I’ll be focusing on picking up as many as I possibly can.”
It was no better for team mate Hamilton. A broken anti-roll bar meant his pace was not as strong as it should have been, and then with only a few laps to go, his car picked up a loose piece of AstroTurf. It made the handling of the car even worse and meant he only just held on to tenth place.
“I was told after the race that my car had suffered a rear anti-roll bar failure a few laps into the second stint. It was safe to drive – and I was trying my best with it, pushing all the way – but it was extremely hard to maintain a good pace. The balance was switching from corner to corner, the car was moving around along the straights, and it was eating up the tyres, which meant we lost further ground by being forced onto a three-stop strategy.”
“To make things even more difficult, I then picked up some stray run-off Astroturf, which tangled itself around my sideboard winglet for the final few laps. It stalled the diffuser – so I had no rear downforce at the end, which made it even trickier to hang on to 10th place.”
“In terms of winning the world championship, logic suggests that that’s probably it for me. Having said that, there are a lot of points still up for grabs, so I’ll keep pushing. Stranger things have happened, and I’ll never give up,” he concluded.