25 May 2014
Monaco F1 Grand Prix: Button gives McLaren a bit of a boost
McLaren's Jenson Button shows 'all his customary flair and experience to relentlessly move up the order' and finish sixth in Monaco, while Kevin Magnussen also scored in the sister car
Jenson Button secured a very good sixth on Sunday in the Monaco Grand Prix, a welcome result for McLaren after difficult races in Bahrain, China and Spain.
Button looked to have his work cut out after only qualifying twelfth for the race around the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo, but despite tangling with Sergio Perez on the opening lap, gradually hauled himself up and in the end finished right on the tail of Nico Hulkenberg in P5.
“This was a typical Monaco Grand Prix – it was messy out there; people were making mistakes; there were cars all over the place; you had to stay focused; keep up with the pack, and look after the tyres, using them when necessary,” Button reflected.
“For the entirety of my final stint, I looked after my tyres and dropped back into the clear air behind Kevin [Magnussen – my team-mate]. Then it was just about pacing myself to the end. I couldn't quite get past Nico at the end – he was struggling with his tyres, but whenever I pushed, I struggled as well, so I couldn't make it stick.”
“In the closing laps, we had a good little battle, but it's so tough when you're shoved up behind another car,” added the 2009 F1 World Champion. “It's difficult enough as it is, but when you can't really see anything because there's a car in front, it's even more difficult.”
“[Overall] this wasn't a bad result for us – I just wish I could have picked off Nico at the end,” he concluded.
Kevin Magnussen meanwhile also ran strongly and was actually ahead of team-mate Button until he had PU problems. Magnussen also lost time when he tangled with Kimi Raikkonen at the hairpin on lap 73, but recovered to take tenth and the final point.
The result was welcomed by McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier, coming after the team failed to score at all in the three previous grand's prix.
“Sixth and 10th isn't where we want to be, but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that this was a good performance – both from the perspective of the team, who worked brilliantly together, and also from both drivers, who drove tenaciously all weekend,” Boullier stated.
“Finishing 10th will be tough for Kevin to accept – he looked set for at least sixth place until the closing laps, when a problem with his power-unit dropped him down the order in quick succession. Fortunately, we were able to rectify the problem so he could proceed, but the incident with Kimi obviously didn't help.
“As usual, Jenson showed all his customary flair and experience to relentlessly move up the order from 12th on the grid.
“He was always well positioned to benefit from the incidents and action ahead of him, and judged the second Safety Car [to recover Adrian Sutil's damaged car] to perfection, choosing to dive into the pits at exactly the right time.”
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