Jenson Button’s 250th Formula 1 grand prix ended in disappointment after the Briton was forced to retire from the race with just two laps remaining in Bahrain today.
The McLaren driver had been running well inside the points for much of the race, and appeared to be on course to pick up the team’s sole points haul after Kevin Magnussen retired on lap 41. However, he also developed a problem on his car, forcing him to park up agonizingly close to the finish.
“In terms of pace, we took a step forward this weekend,” Button explained. “Moreover, our degradation was positive and I think we did a very good job understanding our tires. Our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the primes. But unfortunately I didn’t get that opportunity.”
Ahead of his 250th race, Button posed for a special team picture in which his colleagues donned commemorative t-shirts, and the 2009 world champion expressed his sympathy for the team after all of their hard work.
“It’s tough for all the team, because they all worked really well and really hard,” he said. “We were set for fifth place at worst and a podium finish at best, and that would have been a very positive outcome for all of us.
“In summary, then, there was lots of good racing out there – I can’t even remember how many cars I overtook but it was quite a lot – and I think it was the same for almost everyone out there. I really enjoyed it, in fact.”
Button is the most experienced British driver to have raced in Formula 1, and come the end of the season, only Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher will have taken part in more races than the McLaren driver.