Button: Delayed second pit stop ruined possible finish in points

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After having high hopes for turning their season around in Barcelona, McLaren instead finished outside of the Top 10 for the third consecutive race.

But in Jenson Button’s mind, things could’ve turned out better if not for problems during his second pit stop in last Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Button was looking to crack the points during the race and opted to pit with Sergio Perez on his second stop in hopes of jumping Perez’s teammate, Nico Hulkenberg.

However, that plan went awry.

“During the first two stints, it felt like we were making progress, because we were faster than the cars in front,” Button said.

“But we gambled on taking the second stop early, thinking we could jump one of the Force Indias, but Daniil’s [Kvyat] Toro Rosso followed me in, and caused my release to be delayed by a few seconds while he came past me in the pit lane.”

Things didn’t get much better for the former World Champion when he finally got back on the track.

“Then I came out of the pits just in front of [race winner] Lewis [Hamilton], who was lapping me,” Button said. “He was running old tires, while I was on fresh rubber; I had to let him past, but it delayed me a bit more.”

Things remain relatively tight in the Formula One pack, particularly in fourth through sixth in the Constructors’ Championship. P4 belongs to Force India with 57 points, followed by Williams with 46, and then McLaren with 43.

With that in mind, Button is looking forward to getting further development in during a two-day test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which begins tomorrow.

“The test should be useful – not necessarily for [the next race at] Monaco, but for two or three races down the road,” he said. “The midfield is extremely close, so even small improvements will make a difference.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.