Jenson Button has denied he braked early for the Bus Stop chicane in the Belgian Grand Prix, causing Sebastian Vettel to crash.
Writing on his official website Button said:
No, absolutely not. Obviously, I’d lost the floor-plate of one of my front wing endplates and that was affecting the cars balance but I didn’t brake any earlier for the Bus Stop on the lap of the crash.
I’d had to crank more front wing in to help the handling, and that had made the back-end a bit more skittish, so I was just driving carefully. I knew I still had good straight-line speed, so I was concentrating on getting into the slower corners cleanly, so that I could maximise my traction at the exit and maintain the gap along the straights. But that’s just common sense when youre racing.
After the race, I actually checked the data with my race engineer, and it shows that I braked at exactly the same point on the lap before the collision. We even looked at the braking profile, and that also showed that, at the point of impact about 1.5s after I’d started applying the brakes I’d travelled exactly the same distance on both laps. So to suggest I’d braked earlier wouldn’t be accurate.
Button called the crash “completely unnecessary” and admitted he is increasingly concerned about his championship situation:
My thoughts havent really changed, to be honest. At the time, I was pretty confused by what Sebastian did. Now, I still think what he did was completely unnecessary he didn’t need to pass me at that point, and I wasn’t making his life difficult, so his car shouldn’t have been on such a knife-edge when he hit me.
What’s most frustrating is that I’ve lost out on a good handful of championship points at a time when neither Sebastian or Fernando were able to score. I know there are 150 points still up for grabs, but it doesn’t help to now be 35 points behind Lewis.
On a more positive note, under the old points system, that would still only be about 15 points, so anything’s still possible. But at this point in the season, you’ve got to take every point you can and the incident in Spa certainly didn’t help.
Button believes he would have finished on the podium despite his front wing problem had Vettel not taken him out:
I was in second place. Okay, you could say it wasn’t a comfortable second because I had the slight issue with the endplate, which was slowing me down, but you look at the results and two cars that were running behind me before I retired both finished on the podium. So I think its realistic to say that I could have been on the podium on Sunday.
And I knew I would have been strong in the closing laps of the race, too. We had a car that was working perfectly in the greasy conditions, and I think I would only have been stronger when the rain started to fall again. So it’s a missed opportunity.
2010 Belgian Grand Prix
- Technical review: Belgian Grand Prix
- From the stands: Carol Treurnicht watches the Belgian GP at Spa
- Liuzzi: “I’d have passed Alguersuari easily”
- Button denies braking early in Vettel crash
- Hamilton “wasn’t pushing” when he went off
- 2010 Belgian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend?
- Damage limitation for Webber – but not Vettel (Red Bull race review)
- Ferrari’s practice pace disappears on Sunday (Ferrari race review)
- Renault’s latest upgrade gives Kubica a shot at victory (Renault race review)