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Button: These things happen
27 March 2013
Jenson Button insists he holds no grudges against the McLaren team member who made the crucial error that ended his hopes of a strong run in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Briton looked well set for a top six finish before being released from his third pit stop before the front-right wheel had been properly attached to the car – with the team forced to pull him back into his pit stall to ensure it was fitted correctly.
Having lost the best part of two minutes as a result, Button lost any chance of scoring points and later retired with a vibration, meaning he has picked up just two points from the first two races.
Despite the lost points in Sepang, Button refused to condemn the mechanic involved and insisted it was simply a small mistake made at the wrong time.
"The guy on the front-right (wheel) was devastated," the Briton was quoted by
. "I really feel for him because it was such a small mistake and it can cost you dearly, as it did.
"But I don't hold any grudges with anyone. It's a mistake and the guy has apologised."
Quick pit stops are something McLaren worked hard on last year, setting a number of world record times in the process, but Button said the team needed to focus on making sure that it got things right – even if that meant sacrificing some speed.
"When the guys are quick, they are super quick, but we have to be careful in trying to get them too quick," he said. "But when it's that fast, you are under pressure, even if the guys say they aren't.
"If you have to do something in that space of time, it's very, very difficult. Now we've worked so hard on getting the pit stops as quick as possible, but maybe we have to back off a little to get a bit more consistency."
Button added that he felt McLaren had turned a corner in Malaysia after a difficult start to the year in Australia, and that there were positives to be taken away from the race weekend.
"We went for a different strategy to most as we were going to three stop,” he said. “Most people were four stops. When I made my last stop I had a good feeling we could fight with the Mercedes. I don't know if that would have been the case, although Lewis was fuel saving, which I knew.
"Fifth place was definite. That was the worst result we could have got, and we could possibly have fought for a podium, but then we had the disappointing end and lost a lot of points. But for the season as a whole the weekend was very positive in terms of moving forward.
"We're still off the pace of the Red Bulls, although for a lot of the race we had the same pace as Sebastian, so it's amazing how you can move forward within a week. A lot of that was understanding the aerodynamics of the car, some of it was lucking in on the circuit being smooth, but also we did a good job."
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