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Button: Strategy was wrong
8 May 2011
Jenson Button has said his strategy was to blame after only finishing sixth in today's Turkish Grand Prix.
Button, who opted to three-stop, was running fourth in the closing stages, but on worn tyres he was powerless to fight off his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who both four-stopped, and he eventually finished more than 10 seconds behind the latter.
“It's a pity to finish so far back after everything in the first stint seemed to go so well,” Button lamented. “Strategy-wise, I don't think we got it right today.
“My battle with Lewis [early on] was great fun and there was a lot of excitement on the track, but I was disappointed to finish where I did: the car felt very good but we just went the wrong way on strategy.
“I think most people probably started the race aiming for a three-stopper, but because many of them damaged their tyres in the first stint, they changed their approach. We didn't, and I was able to put a couple of laps on everyone and my tyres still felt pretty good – but I felt the next two stops were earlier than the tyres could have done, which is disappointing.
“We didn't leave the stops late enough – the tyres were still good at the end of every stop, so we should have stayed out longer because it just made the last stint extremely difficult.
“During the final stint, I was trying to get the best out of the car but it's so hard because the difference in pace between a fresh and used set of tyres is so great.”
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile concurred it was a mistake to three-stop: “Jenson was the quickest of the three-stoppers, but with hindsight it probably wasn't the optimal strategy, and consequently he struggled a bit – through no fault of his own.”
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