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F1 Russian GP: Button calls for turn two rethink

Jenson Button believes that turn two at Sochi Autodrom needs to be reconsidered after drivers gained places during the opening lap chaos at the Russian Grand Prix.
Jenson Button has suggested that F1's powers-that-be may want to consider altering the layout of turn two at Russia's Sochi Autodrom after several incidents that played a part in shaping the outcome of Sunday's grand prix.

While the collisions between Daniil Kvyat and Sebastian Vettel in corners two and three of the pseudo-street circuit grabbed the headlines in the immediate aftermath of the race, other drivers were involved in accidents of their own further back in the pack, while more still made use of the wide run-off area to avoid the chaos and gain positions.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Button's own McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso were amongst those who made use of being on the outside of the corner to vault themselves up the order, Hamilton significantly aiding his recovery from tenth on the grid to an eventual second place. Button, meanwhile, was on a different line and had to take avoiding action, ultimately battling his way to the final point of the day, four positions behind Alonso.

“[Tenth] was good, but we had to fight back a lot because the first lap wasn't very good,” the 2009 world champion reflected, “I was on the outside going into turn three, where Seb was parked, facing the wrong way, so I was just unlucky. In China, I got lucky in the first lap, here I was unlucky, so it was one of those things.”

Button admitted that, being mired in the chasing pack, he didn't really get a good view of what transpired between Kvyat and Vettel, but was frustrated to have lost positions because of it, especially with several of those starting ahead of him already out of the running.

“I didn't really see what happened in the first lap but, when you see a car facing the wrong way, the immediate reaction is to back off as I was going to hit him if I didn't and a lot of cars got through on the inside,” he explained, “It's so wide this circuit, and the run-offs are so big, that people take more risks.

“Going into turn two, so many people went straight on and, if going through the small 'gate' they put there during the race is slower, it's certainly not slower on the first lap. The only risk is damaging the car, but having the bollard in turn two means people know they can out-brake themselves and still go straight on and gain time as the others are fighting each other. I think I was 15th after the first lap, which was a shame because the pace was there, so it's a funny one that needs to get looked into.”

Tagged as: Mclaren , Jenson Button , race , Russia

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
01.05.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 crashes into Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H at the start of the race. 01.05.2016.
22.06.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
22.06.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08 detail
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
22.06.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
22.06.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
22.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
22.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13

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May 02, 2016 12:41 PM
Last Edited 69 days ago

Last year, the 'gate' was proposed and then removed as it didn't do the job. So, just like with qualifying, they used the trusted FIA plan of "if it doesn't work, try it again because it might work". Six drivers went through the gate - Hamilton, Ricciardo, Alonso, Grosjean, Ericsson and Haryanto - if they had not used the gate, they would have got a penalty/reprimand as LH did the day before. The stupid track design and the FIA race director, who is responsible for the 'gate' are the culprits here. This whole event is a great example of what is wrong with F1. Not only do we have to put up with the vomit-inducing grovelling and toadying but the track is rubbish. But they pay the second highest amount to stage the race so it will continue and prevent a decent event to be staged elsewhere.

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