Jenson Button battles for seventh spot in Singapore Grand Prix
Jenson Button was satisfied with a seventh-place finish at today’s Singapore Grand Prix, despite sitting in a podium position as the race entered its closing stages.
The Frome Flyer attempted to make a set of tyres last from the start of the safety car period on lap 25 until the end of the race but was hampered by a lack of pace as Kimi Raikkonen took third spot from him.
Sebastian Vettel took another step towards a fourth successive world title with victory – finishing 83 seconds in front of Button – with Fernando Alonso second.
“We thought we might have a chance of a podium, but in the end we didn’t have the pace to keep us ahead of the closing cars,” said Button, who started eight on the grid.
“It was good fun trying though, and we have to take risks if we want to get podium finishes this year.
“We expected to spend most of the race on the Option tyre, so we’d set the car up for that. The Prime tyre didn’t work so well for me, and having to hold Kimi off for so long destroyed my rear tyres and made things very tricky.
“In the end, as I say, we simply didn’t have enough pace to stop him overtaking.
“It was a good try though, and a P7 finish isn’t too bad. We couldn’t have done any better with a different strategy, I’m certain of that, and I’m glad we got some good points for the team.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh was pleased with the efforts of Button and team-mate Sergio Perez, who came eighth.
“Jenson and Checo both drove great, spirited, combative races here this afternoon, and the result was a brace of points-scoring finishes for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
“Our strategy involved an element of risk, but that risk was worth taking. After all, the second-placed and third-placed finishers both ran the same strategy – and, although our cars didn’t have sufficient pace to beat them to those podium finishes, our drivers boldly embraced the challenge set by a strategy that required them to attack and defend with an impressive mix of aggression and restraint.
“Checo, in particular, made an extremely good start, moving from his P14 grid slot to P11 on lap one, and thereafter fighting his way through heavy traffic all afternoon to finish eighth at the flag, just behind Jenson in seventh.
“From here we go to Mokpo, South Korea, where we’ll be aiming to score points with both cars once again.”