Jenson Button: Fourth in Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka 'not too bad'
Jenson Button left Suzuka happy with his fourth place in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, from Frome, qualified third but had to start from eighth on the grid due to a five-place gearbox penalty.
Button pushed up to third in the early stages, but wasn't able to get back there after an early first pit stop.
“Fourth definitely isn’t a bad result – particularly considering I started from eighth," said Button.
"I ran as high as third during the first stint, but in hindsight it was probably an error to make our first pitstop so early.
"Both Kamui [Kobayashi] and I were compromised behind a Toro Rosso, and that cost both of us a bit of time to Felipe [Massa].
"He’d started on a brand-new set of tyres, and that makes a big difference: you can go longer and keep the speed up, so he was able to jump both of us after the first stops.
“Towards the end, I was able to push and start catching Kamui. But he controlled his final set of tyres very well – I could get close to him, but the only way I was going to get into the DRS zone was by braking extra-late into the chicane, and, every time I tried, I locked up and ran wide.
“Still, this result isn’t too bad – we got some more points – we just didn’t have the pace to go for the win.”
At the front of the championship, Fernando Alonso saw his series lead slashed from 29 points to four.
Alonso was involved in a first-corner crash, while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel took full advantage to close the gap by claiming a consummate triumph.