Jenson Button felt his afternoon in Albert Park was compromised by strategy calls that ultimately went against him and his McLaren-Honda team.
The Briton had just made his first pit stop for tyres when the red flags came out for the crash between his team-mate Fernando Alonso and Haas F1 Team driver Esteban Gutierrez, then decided to fit the wrong type of tyre onto the car for the restart that ultimately left him down in fourteenth and out of contention for the points.
“My car wasn’t too bad, but I think we made some imperfect strategic calls this afternoon,” revealed Button. “Also, the red flag hurt us because we’d already made our first stop.
“Then, after the restart, we ran the Supersoft – which lasted about 10 laps – and then fitted the Back-Up, which everyone else had been on since the restart. Around here, you can catch up but you can’t easily overtake, so we ended up at the back of the queue after making our stop.”
Button was happy to see team-mate Alonso walk away from the huge lap eighteen crash at Albert Park, and feels it proved that improvements made in car safety are working.
“I’m really glad Fernando was able to walk away from that accident – I’m sure he’ll remember that one for a few weeks,” insisted Button.
“It’s amazing how far these cars can be catapulted when they touch tyres; under braking, it can all happen very quickly when it goes wrong. But the fact that his car survived shows how far the sport has come in terms of safety.”