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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
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)

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Tunde

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.

Bobkp

September 08, 2013 5:53 PM

@thelogicalview Agreed their season has been a disaster, but it's not going to get any better. They've already come out and said that there will be no more updates this season - so it's all to play for next year. However, considering that this year's title is all but wrapped up, I would imagine just about every other team will be stopping development on this years car as well.



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