McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button says his route to the top ten in the Russian Grand Prix was achieved despite contending with a substantial 45kph top speed deficit compared with rivals.

The former champion qualified a solid 13th for the Sochi race, but slipped back in the early stages as rivals began to come past his MP4-30 on the straights, in another clear demonstration of the car's lack of top speed form.

Despite this, Button ascended the order again in a race of relatively high attrition, crossing the line in ninth place for only his third top ten finish of the 2015 season. However, the lack of deployment continues to frustrate him.

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"A big thing for us is deployment and fuel saving because we're not deploying for very long on the straights so you're using more fuel. We knew that we would were going to get trounced in the race from Lap 1 really having to fuel save every lap. Even with the two Safety Cars we had to save a lot.

"Cars are overtaking us in places you would not expect. Into Turn 12-13, if I don't deploy they're coming at me sort of 40-45kph quicker. I haven't got DRS and they have, I haven't got deployment and they have, so it's a massive closing speed. It's really tricky because I'm looking at my mirrors not knowing where [the car behind] is going to end up."

Indeed, despite the boost of the result, Button remains critical of the package, saying he would have been close to the front were it not for the engine.

"If we had a competitive car, we would have been competing at the front because we had the perfect race. As a team, we did a good job. We did the best possible."


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Jenson has a point, he may not be battling with Mercedes but he will be further up front maybe 6 or 7. The Merc and Ferrari are hitting 330 KPH easily, while Mclaren can only do 310. Do you know that 20KPH will make a difference over a 50 lap race or are you just plain Mclaren-Honda hater.