Jenson Button has been left ruing a communication error at McLaren during today’s Brazilian Grand Prix that he feels cost him a shot at a podium finish at Interlagos.
According to paddock speculation, Button could be set to leave Formula 1 at the end of the year to make way for Fernando Alonso at McLaren, but has made such a decision particularly difficult in recent weeks with a fine run of form.
In Brazil today, Button rallied to finish the race in fourth place, seven seconds behind third-placed Felipe Massa at the flag. Although he was pleased with the race, he felt that a podium finish may have been possible.
“Judging the race was so tricky today,” Button said. “I pushed really hard on my first stint on the prime so as to maintain the gap to Valtteri [Bottas].
“That meant I destroyed my rear tires, but I reasoned that, if I could keep using DRS, I could establish a gap to the guys behind me. It was worth it, and it worked, but it meant I had to back off during the following stint to look after my tires.
“It all went pretty smoothly until my final pit stop. There was a bit of miscommunication about stopping, which meant I ended up doing an extra lap. That could have cost us a chance of the podium. It’s a shame we couldn’t hang on to Felipe [Massa], but it was still a fantastic race.”
Button enjoyed a particularly spirited fight with Kimi Raikkonen during the race today, with the experience that the two oldest drivers on the grid boast being put on display for all to see as they fairly scrapped for position.
“I really enjoyed it,” Button said when asked about the race. “One of the best aspects of it was my great fight with Kimi. You always push to the limit with him, but you never go over it. So I enjoyed that very much.”