Final tracks suit McLaren better – Button

Jenson Button believes the final four races in Japan, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi will play to his car’s strengths more than at Singapore.

He told his official website:

It was a little disappointing to see that we probably didn’?t have enough pace to take the fight to the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, but that was to be expected, really. Singapore is one of the highest downforce tracks on the calendar, so it?s not a place where our car would really excel.

I think the next four races will be very interesting, they?ll certainly play more to our strengths. And, as we’?ve seen, this championship is going to go all the way, and it?s still very hard to predict who’?ll come out on top? so it?’s very exciting.
Jenson Button

Despite losing more ground to Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso at Singapore, Button says he is still in the hunt for the title:

It’?s funny, because every race we go to seems to be called a ?pivotal? race? and, while every result is obviously important, I don?t think you?’d say that any one race is really pivotal to your title campaign ?it’?s more about the pace you carry across the balance of the season.

And, funnily enough, I think Singapore showed that it will probably actually take a couple of races to have a more significant impact on the overall standings. Okay, Fernando?’s had two good races, and is right in the thick of things, but Lewis has retired from the last two races, and he?s still right there, and both Sebastian and me are ready to strike.

I think the new points systems has definitely amplified what people think of the standings, but I?’ve always imagined the points as they would have been under last year?s system: so, in old money, I?’m 10 points off Mark, and Lewis is about eight or nine behind him. And, with four races to go, that?s not much at all.

When you say you’?re 25 points off the lead, that sounds a lot? but it?s just easier for me to reference it by the old system. It makes it seem easier to understand and compute, too.
Jenson Button

2010 Singapore Grand Prix

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56 comments on “Final tracks suit McLaren better – Button”

  1. Better yes, but enough?

    I’ll be a bit surprised if Japan is anything other than a RBR 1 – 2.

    Mclaren could do with a few 1 – 2s in the remaining races.

    I’m hoping for a Williams on the podium before the end of the year, BAR at Brazil would be good

    1. well although i agree with Jenson more often than not, i would like to tell him that whether it’s the old system, or the new system, you have to beat the leaders by a good margin to make up ground… and a point less, is a point less be it in new or old money… 10 = 25 in terms of old to new, so it’s the same thing, and Jenson keeps repeating that it’s easier… do f1 drivers only know how to count to 10?

  2. I was saying this during the weekend. The McLaren does seem to have finally taken to it’s upgrades after loosing it’s way post Valencia.
    Still I don’t belive Suzuka is anything but Redbull teritory because of that first section though McLaren might be able to catch them through the rest of the lap.

    S Korea I don’t know, Intergalos could well suit McLaren, Abu Dhabi being a mix of street track and Long straights is liklety to be a Ferrari track voer all.

    1. A couple of weeks I would have agreed with you about Suzuka but the new load tests do seem to have had an effect on the RB and Mclarens do seem prefer a smooth fast-ish track so they may be able to take the fight to them. Theoretically it should be a red bull 1-2 but if a mclaren splits them in quali i reckon they can stay ahead during the race.

      Korea seems to have a two nice and long straights so Mclaren can fancy a decent position there and Abu Dhabi is nice and smooth too so I agree with Button in the sense out of the final fly aways singapore was going to be its least suited track but I cant see any tracks coming up where Mclaren will be dominant or the fastest car. Will be up to the drivers to make the difference imo but should be great to watch.

  3. IN this season, Mclaren has been faster in 2 , may be 3 races namely Canada, Spa and may be Turkey.
    Afet Ferrari got hang of their blown diffuser, they have been on the gear box of Red BUll and sometimes ahead of them.
    Mclaren havent really been strong in Brazil.
    Ferrari looks like an all rounder car. Since valencia, they are on the pace but dint get results.
    Ham has an outside chance of being the champion.

    Webber is most likely to be champ
    Vettel next, then Alonso, then Ham and then Button.

    1. Vettle really? Vettle’s not finishing in front of Hamilton, doesn’t have the racecraft. McLarens pace has been on taraget From Turkey Through Valencia, on pace in Spa and Monza.

      Round abouts in Singapore quali, a circuit that just doesn’t suit, I say there looking okay.

  4. Good to see Button at least understands the points system and he’s right. With 10 points in old money and 4 to go he’s right behind.
    Only there are possibly 2-4 cars faster than his at the moment and they belong to the guys in front of him in the WDC rating.
    But as this season is going, we cannot take anything for granted. He might all of a sudden win in Suzuka with Vettel next and we’ll have the tables turned once again. Looking forward to a nice battle to the very end.

    1. In old money 10 points is still a lot with 4 races left with so many in front of him (if it was a two horse race not such a problem). He realistically has to finish high in every remaining race and hope at least Webber and Alonso have a DNF

        1. Te points is nothing. Looking at this season for odds, its absurd to think that a RBR or Ferrari DNF, or two, in a four-race span would be some shocking event. If the past is any guide, Webber and Alonso will stub a toe at some point, the question is whether Button and Hamilton will be there to capitalize or not.

        2. When Hamilton failed there was no one else (realistically) to pick up the pieces but Kimi, that is not so this season.

          It is not as if Webber does not win Button will pick up the win, there is Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel possibly Kubica, are they also going to fail?.

          He has got to finish in front of Webber Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso nearly every race.

          I think Button is still very under rated, I would put in easily in the same class as Webber and Vettel (just the car isn’t really that nearly to RBR) but even from this far out it will take something even more surprising than in 2007 for him the clinch the title.

          As I also keep saying it can also change very quickly. :-)

          1. When Hamilton failed there was no one else (realistically) to pick up the pieces but Kimi, that is not so this season.

            You mean apart from Alonso, who was 3 points further ahead ;)

            But no, you have the point nailed. It will be tough for Button because he has to beat 4 other guys, not 1. But if he beats one or two in each race, depending on what happens to those guys he has a chance.

            Also I like Button and Hamilton seeing things in old money. Even out of 100, 20 seems a big gap. Even out of 40, 8 seems far less.

      1. If however, he where to win in a race where both drivers DNF’d he’d be back on top. Now I’m not saying thats at all likley, though it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but it does make it a distinctly bridgable gap.

  5. Well.. If we were to take Jenson’s opinion on car competitiveness … Monza and Singapore were to play to Mclaren’s strengths as well.

    What I found really funny was Jenson saying that Vettel and him are ‘ready to strike’. Vettel still has a shot for WDC… but Jenson…. are you kidding?!?

    Jenson hasn’t looked capable of taking one pole position all year, nor has he truly had the pace to win a race. China and Australia were two lucky decisions, while the others faltered around him. I’m just pissed off with Jenson thinking that he has a realistic shot of winning the title.

        1. How do you get that?

          Last season wasn’t the points system:

          1st: 10
          2nd: 8
          3rd: 6
          4th: 5
          5th: 4
          6th: 3
          7th: 2
          8th: 1


          Using that system is how I got the points I posted above.

          1. I think the key to the new points system is that you are rewarded more for a first than last year. 18 into 25 is only 72% whereas 8 into 10 is 80%. So theoretically a driver should be able to make up lost ground faster if he wins, even if his main rival comes second.

  6. “Jenson hasn’t looked capable of taking one pole position all year, nor has he truly had the pace to win a race. China and Australia were two lucky decisions”

    I think you’ll find it takes more than luck to win a grand prix regardless of the circumstances! especially when your not in the fastest car.

    People forget Jenson is in his first year with a new team driving a car built for Hamilton.

  7. I think the track in Japan suits Jenson’s driving style. Smooth, flowing corners where accuracy is key, but if he has a car that has to be pushed to the ragged edge in order to keep up with the Ferraris and Red Bulls, then I think that Lewis will end up fairing better. The reason being that Lewis can extract far more from the car than Jenson has been able to, and he will have to continue doing so if he hopes to beat the others to the title.

        1. But Fernando was faster than Felipe, so much so that Fernando turned the engine down a little to save fuel, cool the engine and save the tyres, but still managed to stay within 3 seconds of Felipe. Then he turned the engine up and made up that gap in no time, nailing fastest laps consistently.

          Fernando is the best and most complete driver on the grid. It’s accepted by many commentators, most fans and even by most the drivers

          1. [i]Fernando is the best and most complete driver on the grid. It’s accepted by many commentators, most fans and even by most the drivers[/i]
            Maybe if you watch TV in Spain…

          2. Alonso like many world champions is class but I don’t see anything that makes him stand out from other drivers except his constant moaning if you can count that as complete your right

          3. Your statement is not supported by facts. If he’s so good why he couldn’t do better than Lewis in Lewis’s rookie year with the same car? I won’t deny though that Fernando is a world-class whiner.

          4. “If he’s so good why he couldn’t do better than Lewis in Lewis’s rookie year with the same car?”

            Alonso (like Kimi) took time to get used to the Bridgestone’s and if it hadn’t been for his Hungary strop he may have beaten Hamilton. Ifs and buts though. If Hamilton hadn’t have chucked it away at China then he’d have the title. My point is, results are one thing and clearly Hamilton was spectacular that year but because 07 was so bonkers it’s hard to really know what ws going on at times.

            Alonso’s considered the best because if you look at 06 in particular he was fast, can overtake, can be ridiuclously consistent and can think inside of the car and work out strategy at 200mph. Given Alonso’s mistakes this year it has been like watching a totally different driver at times though.

            Also apparently that vote taken by the drivers on who they thought was the best 20 responded and 9 voted Alonso. I think Hamilton and Button were next with two votes.

  8. oh, and in my humble opinion… Brazil will never suit the McLaren. Lewis only barely scraped the required position to win the championship (in a good version of the car) and in the last 3 races there McLaren have never looked strong. Abu Dhabi should be a good track for McLaren though.

    1. Well McLaren looked pretty strong in Brazil last year although due to that wet quali last year we didnt see the qualifying pace of the McLarens but in race trim,both Heikki and Lewis’s fastest laps were 0.6s off the fastest lap of the race set by Mark Webber.

      1. Last year though the car was good at the slower speed stuff. They won at Hungary and Singapore but this year they really struggled on both tracks so will Brazil actually suit them? If it’s wet then they should win as it is the best in the wet I feel.

        1. Wasn’t Hamilton in a podium position this year when he retired from both these races? Hardly struggling, but not performing as well as they should have. Hopefully next years Macca will be more balanced… well not for you cause you like Ferrari :P

  9. Button has a point. Red Bull should dominate Suzuka but the circuit won’t show up McLaren’s shortcomings in the area of traction out of corners anywhere near as much as the stop-start Singapore. The key is their competitiveness relative to Ferrari.

    Korea too will be the same but with those three massive straights. McLaren will be a lot closer to Red Bull there and have at least a fighting chance of beating Ferrari.

    Brazil probably won’t be great for them, but won’t be as bad as Singapore. If the new upgrades work they’ll be right up there. Ferrari will also be strong, though.

    Abu Dhabi has the Singapore-like Sector 3 but they shouldn’t lose too much time through Sector 1 and Sector 2 will be right up their street. If Red Bull do what they did at Spa and cut their downforce so as not to be mugged down those two straights McLaren will have an even better chance.

    But a poor pace showing at Suzuka would be a very bad omen and McLaren might be wiser to concede.

    1. I think Suzuka will be make or break for McLaren, both in terms of the remaining points up for grabs, and also as a showing of whether their upgrades have worked. If they aren’t closer to the Red Bulls there, it’s over for Jenson and Lewis.

  10. I would say the biggest threat to Hamilton or Button being able to challenge for this year’s title is Korea getting canceled…take 1 race out of it and suddenly there’s only 75 points up for grabs…

    1. That would hamper Fernando’s and Sebastian’s chances as well. One more race would always provide the 4 drivers chasing mark, with some more opportunity. Lets hope it doesn’t get cancelled, as I think that track might suit the Ferraris, Red Bulls and Mclarens equally.

  11. It will be the toughest thing on earth to predict who will be the champion this season until to see that last lap of the Abu dhabi GP!

    Brazil should help them along with Abu Dhabi, can’t tell anything about Korea but I don’t think they will be the best in Japan.

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