Button denies braking early in Vettel crash

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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 car?s 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 you?re 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.
Jenson Button

Button called the crash “completely unnecessary” and admitted he is increasingly concerned about his championship situation:

My thoughts haven?t 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.
Jenson Button

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 it?s 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.
Jenson Button

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

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