F1 »

Italian Grand Prix: Button thwarted by clutch and gear issues

Even though that he was lucky to even make the start of the race after a morning fuel pump issue, Jenson Button was still left ruing the missteps that left him settling for tenth in Monza.
F1 teams don't panic easily, but McLaren came close to it when they found that Jenson Button's McLaren was suffering from a fuel system issue just an hour before the start of the Italian Grand Prix. A service that would normally have to be done overnight needed to be completed before the pit lane closed ahead of the start of the race - and the team pulled it off.

"I just want to say a big 'thank you' to all the guys in the garage today," said Button. "They had to really work hard to repair my car's fuel system before the race, in record time, and they pulled out all the stops to get it all done. It was touch-and-go for a while, but they responded really well and did an incredible job."

But once he was able to take the start, the gltches with the car started to mount up, leaving Button struggling to stay in the points despite having started form ninth place on the grid.

"I had a bad start when my clutch slipped, and I dropped a few places. That first stint was quite good fun, but, once I got stuck behind Daniel there was no way of getting past him," referring to a long stint behind Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo.

"We didn't get the gear ratios quite right today," Button admitted. "Consequently, as our fuel loads decreased, and our cornering speeds should have increased, we were hampered by our rev-limiters, and that made it easier for the cars behind to overtake us and harder for us to overtake the cars ahead of us.

"In clear air, our pace was pretty good, but, with such a short top gear, especially with DRS deployed, we were hitting the rev-limiter while other cars weren't being rev-limited," he continued.

"Moreover, about 15 laps from the end, I locked up into the first corner and severely flat-spotted my front-right tyre," he added. "I couldn't really see a lot after that, because of vibration, but I still managed to bring it home and score a world championship point for the team."

"We've come away with a very hard-won world championship point," agreed a rueful McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, who admitted that a lack of straight line speed had compromised Button and Sergio Perez' efforts in Monza.

"Our cars were faster in terms of overall lap-time [but] their comparative lack of straight-line speed prevented Jenson and Checo from being able to pass the Toro Rossos in order to exploit that greater pace on a clear track," Whitmarsh explained. "Jenson was mighty at the end of the race, however, holding off Kimi to retain tenth place by just three-tenths of a second at the chequered flag."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.09.2013, Qualifying Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
07.09.2013, Qualifying Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
07.09.2013- Free practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
07.09.2013- Qualifying,Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


September 08, 2013 8:17 PM

Whitmarsh may be a problem in, but my money on whom has deepened McClaren's woes further is with Sam Michael. I was under the impression that F1 was a sport that ruthlessly punished failure. Michael failed woefully at Williams, despite unstinting support from Head and Sir Frank. He has left the team a shadow of it's self. How he got the job of a major team directorship is mystifying. Watch, next year's car, under his supervision will be equally uncompetititive. Then he'll have no where to hide. Perhaps LH saw what was coming and bailed.


September 10, 2013 8:15 AM

The only facet of MaClarens year that has been positive is Jensons unfailing optimisism , but his driving skills have been utterly wasted in a car that frankly was a disaster, stayed a disaster, and will end the season as a disaster. Sam Michael and Martin Whitmarsh are simply not skilled or ruthless enough to be at the helm, and should be sacked, and Perez should be offloaded for Hulkenberg. Lewis cannot make the Mercedes a consistent performer, and it is a far better car than the McLaren. Jenson had better hope that they have something up their sleeve, otherwise he will be stuck for good with a team that has so lost its way. It is almost criminal negligence.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.