2 May 2016
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.”
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