Q&A with Jenson Button

Date published: May 12 2011

Jenson Button says he’ll put Turkey “down to experience and move on” after he lost out due to his three-stop strategy…

Jenson Button says he’ll put Turkey “down to experience and move on” after he lost out due to his three-stop strategy…

Q: Turkey was a race where you seemed to hold all the right cards yet couldn’t play them at the right times…
JB: “Yeah, pretty much. I think, like everyone else, we went into the race believing that a three-stopper was the best strategy. And while it quickly became quite apparent that most people were being pushed into a four-stopper, I looked after the tyres in that first stint, managed to gain a few laps on the cars around me and still looked set to make a three-stop strategy work.

“I think we were on course for a decent result, but I suffered a bit when, in the team’s attempt to get me into clear air, I was boxed a bit too soon into the tyres’ life. Plus, I was released into traffic and then those earlier-than-necessary stops left me with a bit of a final stint, which meant that I really struggled for pace on tyres that were really past their best.”

Q: And what do you draw from that?
JB: “It’s disappointing because, from the cockpit, I didn’t really do anything wrong – I drove a clean, strong race and looked after the tyres, but I suffered a bit as a result of that. As we’ve seen in the first three races, all the teams and drivers are on a steep learning curve with these tyres and we just have to notch this one down to experience and move on. I think we’ll all learn something from Sunday and, hopefully, we can put it to good use as soon as possible.

“Besides, we didn’t really have the pace in the car, to challenge for victory on Sunday. When you have the car beneath you that has good pace, it does make your strategy easier: when you’re forced to push, you sometimes have to make a marginal call, or try to make a less-than-perfect strategy work. We never said it was easy, and it’s good that we feel confident enough to make risky calls. I’ll be heading into the next two races feeling more confident that we’ll be back to our usual position up at the front.”

Q: It looked like the team’s performance took a knock at Turkey – do you think you’ll bounce back in Spain and Monaco?
JB: “For Turkey, we’d planned to introduce a couple of useful upgrades, but for several reasons, we weren’t able to get them onto the car. As we’ve said before, the championship battle is basically a development race, and we stumbled a little bit in Turkey because the progress that we’d anticipated making wasn’t quite there.

“But I know how this team reacts – they won’t have liked having fallen off the bubble in Turkey, and we feel pretty confident that we’ll be able to get the pace and reliability from some of our planned upgrades, so I’m optimistic that we’ll have those components back on the car for Barcelona.

“We’re always developing new solutions, too, and I know that the designers are pushing hard on all fronts to make sure we’re in a position to win more races.”

Source: jensonbutton.com