Jenson Button: “Judging the race was so tricky”

Both McLaren Mercedes drivers secured points in Brazil, with Jenson Button an excellent fourth and Kevin Magnussen ninth at Interlagos, with both drivers having very different races managing their Pirelli tyres.

Button was in good form to finish fourth in Interlagos, and described managing the tyres on the newly laid asphalt was tricky. He was happy to be able to keep on the tail of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas early on, but was slightly disappointed to miss out on a podium to the other Williams of Felipe Massa.

“Judging the race was so tricky today,” said Button. “I pushed really hard on my first stint on the Prime [tyres] so as to maintain the gap to Valtteri [Bottas]. That meant I destroyed my rear tyres – but I reasoned that, if I could keep using DRS, I could establish a gap to the guys behind me. It was worth it, and it worked, but it meant I had to back off during the following stint to look after my tyres.

“It all went pretty smoothly until my final pit-stop – there was a bit of miscommunication about stopping, which meant I ended up doing an extra lap. That could have cost us a chance of the podium. It’s a shame we couldn’t hang on to Felipe [Massa], but it was still a fantastic race.

“I really enjoyed it. One of the best aspects of it was my great fight with Kimi [Raikkonen] – you always push to the limit with him, but you never go over it – so I enjoyed that very much.”

Magnussen made a good start to move onto the tail of his team-mate, but struggled with tyre degradation more than Button and was forced to concede positions throughout the race, and lost eighth position to the Soft-tyre shod Force India of Nico Hulkenberg with just a couple of laps remaining.

“That wasn’t a great race for me, which is disappointing,” said Magnussen. “I had a lot of tyre degradation – I tried my best to take care of my tyres but it just didn’t seem possible today.

“I tried to keep people from getting past me, but guys like Fernando [Alonso] and Nico [Hulkenberg] just had more pace than I did, so it wasn’t possible. We need to sit down and have a look at why it didn’t go right for me today – I’m sure we can find the answer.

“On the positive side, it’s really good that Jenson scored the points he did today. Fourth is very impressive. I’m really happy for him and for the team today.”