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Button was 'always out of control' in 'dangerous' race

Jenson Button has revealed that he was 'pretty much always out of control' en route to third position in a 'scary' and 'dangerous' Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai at the weekend – as he acknowledged the need for Brawn GP to address the issue that it has in getting heat into the tyres in wet conditions as soon as possible.

On a drenched track surface and with the rain continuing to fall with a good deal of fervour, the Formula 1 World Championship leader conceded that he had been powerless to prevent the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and then Sebastian Vettel from coming past him and ending his hitherto unbroken early-season run of supremacy.

If the two energy drinks-backed machines were practically walking on water, then the Mercedes-powered BGP 001 was comparatively tip-toeing around the circuit – and it is a situation that Button is adamant cannot be permitted to endure.

“I was pretty much just always out of control,” the British star reflected. “There's always been a lot of spray in Formula 1 – I don't think that has changed – but for some reason we seem to be having a lot of wet races over the last couple of years, which I think stick in our memories more. The wet is always difficult, but this year and Fuji two years ago and a couple of wet races in-between have for me been a lot more difficult and challenging for sure, because of the aquaplaning and just not getting heat into the tyres.

“I think everyone was struggling with the aquaplaning out there. We thought it would be raining, but it was amazing the amount of water build-up considering it hadn't been raining that hard, compared to Sepang. It was pretty crazy conditions into the last corner – it was a just a lake and you couldn't actually brake for the corner. A few other places were the same.

“I didn't expect so much aquaplaning. If it's wet, it's wet – you can normally master the line and try and find an area on the circuit where it's dry or where you're not aquaplaning, but here it's very, very difficult. You're aquaplaning as you come onto the main straight and as you go down the dip across the start-and-finish line, and in those conditions there's nothing you can do and it's very, very scary in a way.

“Normally when you follow a car you see the two lines in the water and you know exactly where they've been, and you can follow that line because there's less water there – but I never saw any lines on the circuit. That was the amazing thing. The water didn't seem to clear and that was the worst thing about it, I think.

“I was also really struggling to get some heat into the tyres. They were shuddering because you can't get temperature into them, fronts and rears. The tyres don't seem to work as well as previously in the very wet conditions; we don't seem to be able to break through the water.

“Obviously these guys (Red Bull) could get them to work, so it wasn't such a bad problem for them, but [for us] it was a difficult race and every lap you thought you were going to throw the car off, you really did. Rubens [Barrichello – team-mate] and I struggled quite a bit, and it's a new issue for me. I don't know what the reason for that is. I hope we will solve those problems in the future, because we cannot let these guys be that far in front.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn BGP001, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th, April 2009
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Nanbawan - Unregistered

April 21, 2009 2:43 PM

What makes those wet races especially dangerous nowadays is that the warm up session has disappeared, therefore no one can tune the settings accordingly, notably by elevating the ground clearance to avoid the skid effect. It takes a huge gamble to set up the car for wet 24 hours before it actually starts and anyway the qualifying was in dry conditions. This rule is somewhat incoherent with the FIA safety concerns.



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