‘Save fuel for later but it doesn’t last’

Date published: June 12 2016

Jenson Button has revealed he had no warning, just a lot of “smoke and sparks” that forced him out of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver was the first retirement from the 70-lap race as he parked his MP4-31 on the side of the track with flames coming from the rear.

“I radioed in to say I had a terminal problem, and I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a lot of smoke and sparks,” he said of his retirement.

“I had no warning – the car just failed as I came out of the hairpin. The engine was still running, but I turned it off anyway.”

That put paid to Button’s goal of scoring points with the Brit confirming he had been playing the long game by saving fuel even in the opening laps.

“It’s a shame, since I was saving a lot of fuel at the time, and I had DRS on every lap too, so I could save even more fuel. That could have made a massive difference later in the race.

“It’s so often the way, though, isn’t it? You save a lot of fuel for later in the race, but it doesn’t last…”