Button: Fourth was possible

Date published: July 24 2011

Jenson Button believes he could have challenged for fourth place in the German Grand Prix had he not been forced to retire…

Jenson Button believes he could have challenged for fourth place in the German Grand Prix had he not been forced to retire.

Just moments after passing Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg for P6 on lap 35, the McLaren driver was ordered to return to the garage because of a hydraulic problem with his MP4-26.

Button admits team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber of Red Bull were too far ahead, but he feels Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa were within his sights.

“The first three, there was no chance (of catching them) but the next two, yeah it was looking pretty good. Adrian Sutil who I passed before I passed Rosberg, was catching Massa and Vettel, so we would have had a good race,” he told BBC Sport.

“I think in the end we wouldn’t have been in the top three but fourth was definitely possible. I was enjoying myself out there as well.”

It was a frustrating race for Button as he slipped to P10 on the opening few laps after starting P7 on the grid.

“I had a terrible first lap, I don’t know where I ended up, and then I couldn’t get past (Vitaly) Petrov,” said. “Eventually I did, and then I got back past the next two guys.

“My pace was good compared to the guys in front, Massa and Vettel, so it was all looking quite exciting. I had a lot of fun out there and then we had a hydraulic issue and I had to retire the car on safety grounds.

“You never know what’s going to happen with hydraulics, because obviously the steering is hydraulic and so is the gearshifts and what have you.”

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