Jenson Button’s Canadian Grand Prix was over with less than ten laps in the books as the Honda engine on his McLaren appeared to fail on the exit of the hairpin, with the British driver pulling off the track on the run down the back straight.
Button was running on the tail of McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso at the time, and was running an alternative tyre strategy to those ahead of him having started on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre, which theoretically could have gone longer than the Ultrasoft his team-mate was running in the first stint.
The former Formula 1 World Champion had no warning about the problem with his car, and rued the fact that he was saving fuel running behind his team-mate that he felt could have benefited him later in the race had he kept going.
“I radioed in to say I had a terminal problem, and I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a lot of smoke and sparks,” revealed Button. “I had no warning – the car just failed as I came out of the hairpin. The engine was still running, but I turned it off anyway.
“It’s a shame, since I was saving a lot of fuel at the time, and I had DRS on every lap too, so I could save even more fuel. That could have made a massive difference later in the race.
“It’s so often the way, though, isn’t it? You save a lot of fuel for later in the race, but it doesn’t last…”