Jenson Button admitted that his United States Grand Prix had not been the most exhilarating until coming to life in the closing stages.

For the third race running, the Briton compromised his afternoon by making contact with another car on the first lap contact and damaging his front wing. On this occasion, however, the McLaren team opted not to lose further time by changing the damaged part, leaving Button to race on with decreased levels of downforce. Unable to extract the best from an already troubled car, Button - on the occasion of equalling David Coulthard's all-time appearance record by a Briton in F1 - toiled well outside the points for much of the race, before making progress towards the top ten late on.

"As in all the past few races, I made contact with another car on the first lap - and that contact broke my left-hand front-wing endplate," the 2009 world champion revealed, "It wasn't quite as bad as in Abu Dhabi, but it still left me with quite a lot of understeer.

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"We considered changing the nose-box at the pit-stop but, instead, the mechanics added some extra front wing, and that helped to re-balance the car. It still wasn't ideal, because losing downforce at the front doesn't affect only the front-end, it affects air-flow across the whole car as well, but I still enjoyed the race.

"The first 30 laps, during which I was stuck behind Felipe [Massa], were particularly tough, but I was able to make some good moves at the end, and that made our day a bit more interesting."

The most important of those moves saw Button overcome a stubborn Daniel Ricciardo, surviving a couple of stern defensive moves to finally pass the Australian around the outside of turn one.

"Even though I was only battling for a single world championship point, I still wanted to do the best job I could this afternoon," the Briton insisted, "Now, I'm hoping for a trouble-free, exciting - and prosperous - final grand prix of the season in Brazil next weekend."

"Jenson drove very well in trying circumstances this afternoon, hampered in [his] efforts to make significant forward progress by a pit-stop strategy that didn't quite work out and a circuit whose layout always makes overtaking extremely difficult," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh suggested.

"We opted to put both our drivers on early one-stop strategies, in an attempt to allow them to undercut their nearest rivals, but, as things turned out, we failed to gain any advantage by doing that.

"Jenson started from P15, owing to a troubled qualifying yesterday, but thereafter drove an excellent race, skillfully nursing a car whose left-hand front-wing endplate had been significantly damaged in a lap-one contact with another car. Despite the understeer handicap that that damage had caused, he was able to record some impressive lap-times - and, driving with measured aggression all the while, climbed the leaderboard to tenth place at the finish, expertly controlling his tyre wear, and taking a very hard-earned world championship point by pulling off a slick yet spectacular passing manoeuvre on Daniel on the race's penultimate lap.

"That marked a fitting end to a frustrating weekend for Jenson, but I hope he'll take some comfort from the knowledge that today he equalled our old friend David [Coulthard]'s all-time record of 246 grand prix starts by a British driver. He'll establish a new benchmark of 247 grand prix starts by a British driver next weekend in Brazil.

"Talking of which, we'll now make our way to Sao Paulo as determined as ever to do our utmost to score as many world championship points as we possibly can and thereby consolidate our fifth place in the constructors' world championship."