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Chinese Grand Prix 2013: Button gives McLaren a glimmer of hope

"It's not the most exciting way to go racing," admits Jenson Button of his smooth cruise to fifth place in Shanghai.
No one's saying that McLaren's early 2013 woes are behind them, but there was a definite hint of a spring revival in the way that the team managed to engineer a fifth place finish for Jenson Button in the F1 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai this weekend.

"I'm very happy to have finished fifth today - and the team should be too," stated Button after Sunday's race.

He'd started from eighth position on the grid and was relying on a two-stop strategy with a first stint on the durable prime tyres to give him a chance of battling other drivers who were gambling on starting on the softer-lived options. But the race strategy required a lot from the driver in order to make it work.

"I had to cruise when I'd normally fight the others," Button explained. "It's not the most exciting way to go racing, but we got then points today because we did it.

"The race was always going to be tricky: we weren't quick enough to adopt the same strategy as the others, so we had to run longer than the rest and make two pitstops, rather than three," he added.

There were few drivers who could pull off such a smooth driving style in a race situation, but if pressed then Button's name would surely be at the top of a very short list. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh for one was very impressed by what Button had achieved.

“Jenson drove a brilliantly executed race," he said. "He was extremely controlled throughout, completely understood the requirements of the strategists, and withstood the temptation to push when the right thing to do was conserve the tyres.

"The fact that we're not yet in a position to realistically finish higher than fifth further highlighted the brilliance of Jenson's drive," he added.

Button's team mate Sergio Perez - who had previously impressed with his long tyre conservation runs at Sauber before joining McLaren at the start of 2013 - was also tasked to make the two-stop strategy work in China, but it didn't pay off as well for the Mexican driver who finished the race only once place ahead of where he'd started on the grid, just outside the points in 11th.

"The strategy didn't quite work as well for him," admitted Whitmarsh. "But he did a great job today. He's still learning, and he'll take a lot away from this weekend – all of which will make him come back stronger for the next race in a week's time."





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.04.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
14.04.2013- Race, Pit Stop, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
14.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29

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kikiriki

April 14, 2013 8:03 PM

@take it or leave it To answer your question about lulu: he probably would of ended in gravel track or on somebody else car. Give the credit to Button, he got the best place possible with the car Macca has for the moment.

jim crint - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 12:16 PM

@ben, sorry mate, but you're talking nonsense. The Ferrari between 2000-2004 was the most competitive in the grid and the Renault that Button drove (2001-2002) just wasn't in the same race most of the time. Alonso is a great driver but his ascendency at Renault coincided with Ferraris decline. The first truly competitive car Jenson drove was the BAR in 2004, in which he was on the podium 9 times and finished 3rd in the championship behind the two Ferraris. 13 years in F1, but Jenson has only been in a competitive car in 5 of those. Before 2013 Lewis was in F1 6 years and was in a competitive car in 5 of those. Lewis' first two years were spent in the best car Completely different ratio altogether. Button may not be the most exciting driver on the grid but neither was Jackie Stewart or Alain Prost. He's by far and away the most intelligent, as can be seen by his controlled driving yesterday.



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