Jenson Button has slammed the decision to hand him a drive-through penalty for receiving a message that was deemed 'illegal' by stewards as he became the first driver to receive an in-race punishment for breaching radio communication regulations.
The McLaren-Honda driver was running eighth early on in the Hungarian Grand Prix when the 'brake pedal went to the floor' at the start of lap five, prompting the team to direct him on how to manage the problem.
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With the issue dropping him to last before he was able to resolve it and get back up to speed, crucially Button did not pit immediately after the problem occurred – as per the latest set of regulations -, prompting the stewards to issue a drive-through.
Though Button – who has been largely supportive of the move to limit coaching from the pit wall - would go on to retire definitively late on when he suffered an oil leak, the 2009 world champion feels the restrictions on fixing a problematic car are 'stupid'.
“Basically the brake pedal went to the floor and obviously it's never nice for a driver to get that feeling and the brakes weren't there,” he said.
“We were told that if you have a problem you have to pit, I'm guessing you have to pit earlier than we did. There are certain things that we shouldn't be telling drivers because we should be able to deal with it ourselves but when you have a power unit that's so complex a driver can't figure everything out for himself and when your brake pedal goes to the floor I think that's a safety concern, so I don't think you should get punished for fixing a safety concern that could end in an accident.”
F1 RESULTS: Hungarian Grand Prix Race Results
“It's a stupid regulation. I completely understand that drivers should not be fed information that helps us drive the car, I'm totally with that because I think it's wrong that we are told every corner where our team mate is quicker or slower than us, and fuel saving should be down to us and so much should be down to us but when it's a safety concern, the brake pedal going to the floor, you shouldn't get penalised for stopping an accident but we did today.
“There are certain things I like with drivers not being allowed to ask how quick their teammate is, or whether they should rub their arse on certain corners or pick their nose but for me I think it's pathetic that you get penalised for stopping an incident.”