McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Jenson Button was pleased he was able to score some points at the United States Grand Prix this weekend, after a poorly timed final run in qualifying, saw him start from nineteenth place on the grid.
“I’m pretty happy to get into the points after a frustrating day yesterday. The start was a bit of a crazy mess – there was so much action.”
The Brit had a strong start which saw him gain a number of places up the order, promoting him to eleventh place after just a few laps. From there the 2009 world champion worked his way into the top ten, before losing position to Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Sergio Perez.
“Starting 19th makes your race a little bit more difficult but I had a good first couple of laps which I really enjoyed. I made up a lot of places and then fought my way into the top 10, and then I fluffed up my second pit-stop a little bit where I lost a place to Checo [Perez], but I think he would have got past me anyway.”
Despite an action packed first part of the grand prix, Button was frustrated with the second half when he had to manage his tyres to ensure they would last until the end of the race, on the off-chance they would be in the fight with Perez in the final moments, but that was not the case, as the Mexican was a bit too far ahead.
“The second half of the race for me wasn’t as exciting – I was looking after the tyres, judging the gap behind me, and trying to save the tyres to the end of the race to attempt to catch Checo, but I think I was about three seconds off at the end.”
It was still a great performance from Button however, having started so far down the grid, to make it into a points paying position shows the old boy still has it!
The Brit’s team-mate Fernando Alonso also had a spirited race, finishing in fifth place, his equal best result with the team to date, cementing a double points score for the Woking based squad, just what they needed after a woeful performance at their home grand prix in Japan last time out.
“I came home ninth which isn’t too bad, and it’s great to get some good points for the team on both sides of the garage. Fernando did a fantastic job to get to P5. He was very quick today, and the Safety Car helped him a lot – one day we’ll get that luck too!
The biggest let down for Button so far this season has been poor judgement in qualifying, and that is something the Brit agrees his team must work on if they are to make things easier for themselves on race day.
“For the rest of the season, it’s important that we work on our Saturdays – trying not to make bad decisions and qualifying closer to the top 10, which means you have a lot more to fight with.”
The strong result achieved here in Austin, has given the squad a huge boost in confidence ahead of next weekend’s race in Mexico, where Button is looking forward to racing and feels another good race will be possible.
“Hopefully the next race in Mexico City will be a good one – I’m already excited about it – and hopefully we can get a good result there.”