Jenson Button insisted that Sebastian Vettel's penalty in the German Grand Prix was justified after the Briton secured his best result since the Chinese Grand Prix back in April.
Button was running second on the penultimate lap but was struggling with his tyres when Vettel made a move for position around the outside at the hairpin, moving ahead of his McLaren rival on the exit of the corner although only after putting all four wheels off track.
Button was clearly unimpressed with the move, with stewards agreeing with his post race and hitting Vettel with a 20 second penalty
that dropped him from second down to fifth.
Speaking after the penalty was announced, Button insisted it was a straightforward decision for the stewards to make and said Vettel would have had the opportunity to take the place if he had waited given how much the McLaren was struggling with its rear tyres.
“Sebastian's pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state that you can't go off the track to gain an advantage,” he said. “The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. That's because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando, which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer.”
After his recent run of poor form, Button admitted it was pleasing to be back at the sharp end in a race that saw McLaren again break the record for F1's quickest pit-stop
“There are two strong positives to take away from today: firstly, although it proved very difficult to overtake, we're right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of speed. Our upgrade package is working well: if we can sort out qualifying, we're in the mix, and we'll have a really good chance of winning races this season.
“Secondly, although there's previously been some negative talk about our pitstops, the boys did an unbelievable job today. My fastest stop was a 2.31s – the blink of an eye, and, I'm told, the fastest pitstop in history. They were phenomenal and gave it absolutely everything today – all our effort is really paying off now.
“I'm already looking forward to Hungary – it's a special place for me, and I feel really encouraged that we can have another great race next weekend.”