Jenson Button: “We knew it was going to be difficult”


Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Sunday 15 May 2016. Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31 Honda, leads Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31 Honda. World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _W2Q0048

Jenson Button ended an action packed and thrilling Spanish Grand Prix in ninth position at Circuit de Catalunya.

Button, who started 12th on the grid, had a brilliant getaway from his starting position in order to dive ahead of two cars into the first turn. When Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided at the first turn, the McLaren Honda driver moved into eighth position.

Whilst managing his tyres from that point onwards, Button was able to resist the constant pressure from his Spanish teammate Fernando Alonso, who retired on Lap 45, as well as being able to pull off a persistent and feisty move on Esteban Gutierrez on Lap 61, at turn ten.

“I had a great start,” said Button at the end of the race. “It must’ve been the best getaway out there, but it wasn’t a very easy race for me. There was no grip at all out there – and, whatever we did, we struggled.

Equally, the leaders weren’t very quick at the end, which made it really difficult for me to manage the situation because Kvyat was right behind Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, and he was on fresh rubber. Fortunately, I was just quick enough to stay ahead of those cars, and he couldn’t jump me. We knew it was going to be difficult to score points here, so this result wasn’t too bad.”

As the race continued, the Brit maintained his position and pace despite the fast Toro Rosso of Danill Kvyat closing in on him with his fresher set of tyres, right until the final flag.

Also talking about the result today was Team Principal, Eric Boullier: “Such was the drama of today’s Spanish Grand Prix that few spectators or TV viewers will probably have paid much attention to Jenson’s calm and well-judged run to ninth place – another points-scoring result following immediately after our double-points-scoring success in Sochi two weeks ago.”