McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finished out of the points again in the 2o16 Chinese Grand Prix, in what was another disappointing weekend for the Woking based squad.
After running in the top ten prior to the deployment of a safety car on lap five, Button was feeling confident that the pace was there to grab a good points haul at the Shanghai International Circuit, but a gamble from the team in switching the Brit to the medium compound tyre during the flurry of pit stops whilst the safety car stayed out, put them on the back foot compared to their rivals, who were all on the faster rubber.
A decision to then try and make a two stop strategy work put an end to Button’s chances, and the 2009 World champion feels it was the wrong way to go.
“The start was good, I don’t know where it was running, but it was quite high up, well into the points, was quite excited,” said Button to Motorsport.com.
“After the safety car, we were in a good position but we were on the medium tyre. Stood still, really, compared to everyone else, whereas our pace on the option was pretty good on the first stint, it was fun racing with the quicker cars for a while.
“And then we tried to do a two-stop which didn’t really work out as we put the options on in the end, they just destroyed themselves.
“Hopefully we’ve made the wrong strategy call putting on the medium. Because if we didn’t, we are not quick enough to be in the points at the moment, ’cause nothing else went wrong. So I’m hoping that was the wrong choice.”
The team will be hoping that it was just a strategy error on their part and that they will have a stronger performance at the next round in Russia. Despite looking strong in the earlier part of the weekend, as they have done at previous races too, McLaren do not seem to be able to bring the performance when it counts.