3 November 2013
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Button: It’s a pity – again
Jenson Button left to rue lap one contact as he fails to score in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Jenson Button admitted he was frustrated by another first lap incident that prevented him from scoring in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina.
The McLaren man had started the race down in twelfth after a challenging qualifying session but went into race day confident of making forward progress towards the top ten.
However, contact with Paul di Resta's Force India on the opening lap forced him to pit for a new nose on lap two, which in turn dropped him to the back of the field.
It also meant the Briton was forced to change his strategy having started on the medium compound tyre, with his aim having been to run long before making his first stop of the race.
Instead, he completed a 44 lap stint on the medium tyre after making his second stop early but he admitted it was a shame that the early clash had cost him the chance to score.
“You make your own luck when you start down in twelfth – where first-lap congestion is inevitable – and, sure enough, there was a little bit of argy-bargy into turn one,” he said. “I duly locked-up both my front tyres, couldn't slow the car down sufficiently, and drove into the back of Paul [di Resta], which broke my front-wing end-plate.
“It's a real pity to keep on having first-lap incidents, especially when the car is working reasonably well now.
“I've been in a similar situation for the past two races, and things haven't really gone my way. Still, I managed 44 laps on the Prime – and, in terms of getting the most out of what we had, that felt positive.
“So, all in all, given how far behind we were after lap two, to finish so close to tenth by the chequer wasn't so bad.”
Despite Button's failure to score, team boss Martin Whitmarsh was full of praise for the Brit for the way in which he managed his tyres through to the finish.
“Jenson was unlucky to incur front-wing damage at the start, as a result of contact with another car, triggering an unscheduled early pitstop,” he said. “However, thereafter he did a truly brilliant job of tyre management, running the Prime for an extremely impressive 44 laps.
“Had that early mishap not occurred – and had he instead been able to drive the first 44 laps of the race on the Prime – undoubtedly he'd have been able to finish very strongly and thereby score a decent number of world championship points. So that was a great pity, because as I say he drove beautifully and in my view a performance of that quality deserves to be rewarded with world championship points. But that's racing.”
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