Jenson Button: “We could have scored a good amount of points”

Jenson Button believed he had the pace and strategy to finish at least seventh in the Bahrain Grand Prix but was disappointed to be forced into retirement due to a possible power unit issue on his McLaren-Honda.

The Briton was battling with Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen in the early laps, and believed he could have fought them for position only for him to drive to a halt on the back straight after just seven laps.

“Qualifying didn’t go fully to plan, but the pace was there – it’s just been a tough weekend because I think we could have scored a good amount of points,” said Button. “Still, I think we can take away some positives in terms of our outright pace.

“In the race I had a loss of power and then the car stopped. We don’t know yet exactly what the problem was – the car just cut out. I initially felt it out of Turn Two, and I eventually stopped at Turn 10.

“It’s a pity; I got a really good start, and made up lots of places, overtaking three cars at Turn 10 under braking, so I was pretty chuffed with that. So it’s a real shame, as I say: before I stopped, I was saving a lot of fuel, my tyres were in good condition, and I was just cruising behind the cars in front.

“We were going to try something a little bit different with the strategy; the cars we were sat behind finished fifth and sixth, and I felt like we could have had a good fight with them.”

Button praised the work of stand-in team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who scored the team’s first point of the season in tenth place as he stood in for the injured Fernando Alonso in Bahrain.

“Stoffel has done a solid job this weekend, getting our first point of the year,” said Button. “We were both helped out by the incidents on track, but, all said, he’s done a good job as I say.”