Jenson Button, McLaren, Interlagos, 2011

McLaren: Button wanted to pass Alonso without using DRS

2011 Brazilian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button confirmed his runner-up place in the championship after finishing third in Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button
Qualifying position 4 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’12.480 (+0.197) 1’12.283
Race position 3
Laps 46/71 71/71
Pit stops 3 3

McLaren drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Lewis Hamilton 86.034 79.35 78.902 78.81 78.677 78.73 78.451 78.563 78.595 78.498 78.734 79.394 79.307 78.909 79.026 82.197 93.307 78.003 77.764 78.052 77.8 77.998 77.891 77.965 77.762 77.757 77.933 77.689 77.827 79.21 78.439 77.663 81.402 91.567 77.209 77.555 77.378 77.556 77.409 77.72 78.242 78.868 78.112 81.811 92.059 77.624
Jenson Button 84.58 79.071 79.017 78.767 78.963 78.674 78.4 78.55 78.41 78.82 79.841 79.203 78.818 78.784 82.409 93.098 78.094 77.936 77.779 78.093 77.847 78.075 78.045 77.692 77.961 78.107 78.186 77.759 77.981 78.188 81.639 92.002 77.621 77.686 76.977 78.041 77.249 77.457 77.347 77.188 77.08 77.201 77.152 77.213 77.07 77.189 77.289 77.118 76.913 77.332 77.684 81.188 92.256 76.302 75.989 75.998 76.069 76.223 76.139 76.172 76.811 76.489 75.58 75.586 75.825 75.889 76.014 75.693 75.772 76.652 78.859

Lewis Hamilton

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.099s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.396s
Pit stop 3 Medium 20.681s

Hamilton admitted he “just wasn?t quite quick enough” in qualifying and took fourth on the grid behind Button.

He fell behind both the Ferraris during the race and was shaping up to pass Felipe Massa when his gearbox failed: “It occurred quite early on ?ǣ I was having problems with first and second ?ǣ and it meant I started losing quite a lot of time and Fernando [Alonso] and Jenson were able to pull away from me.

“The problem meant I stopped being able to make good, clean gearshifts. Then I lost seventh, and then the whole thing just let go.”

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Interlagos, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Interlagos, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.005s
Pit stop 2 Medium 21.038s
Pit stop 3 Medium 21.583s

Button ended his string of poor qualifying performances at Interlagos – he’d averaged worse than 14th on the grid in his last five appearances.

He was slightly disappointed not to be on the front row: “My quick lap was pretty ragged.

“I was pretty aggressive on the throttle, which you have to be to be fast around here. That?s not normally my style, but it was definitely quick and in fact I crossed the line thinking I?d be farther up the grid than I eventually was.”

Button seemed happier on the harder tyres all weekend and came under pressure from Alonso at the start of the race while on softs.

Alonso eventually passed him at Ferradura: “Fernando got the run on me out of turn five, got alongside me and I picked the wrong line, because that lap [was] when Michael [Schumacher] had his puncture and there was rubber all down the inside (of the track).

“I didn?t know what it was, whether it was part of a car, so I couldn?t risk just driving straight through it, and I couldn?t pull to the left because Fernando was there. So I had to back off early and pull in behind. I would say he was gifted the position quite easily.”

His tyre problems forced him into the pits soon afterwards: “I pitted earlier than expected. I really struggled on the tyre that I?ve been struggling with all weekend and strangely, I couldn?t look after the tyre, I really struggled with degradation, especially at the rear end, which was a little bit of a shock.

“But for me, the problem in the first stint was Fernando, he pushed me very hard, and when someone?s doing that, you have to drive a little bit harder, so I was pushing the tyres pretty hard.”

After two stints on soft tyres he switched to the mediums – unlike his rivals, running two stints on the harder tyres: “That helped me chase Fernando down in the final stint and pass him out of turn three.

“Ideally, I wanted to get him into turn one, because it?s more fun to pass someone without using DRS.

“But I set him up and got him out of turn three after getting a good run along the straight.”

His 12th podium finish of the year confirmed Button as the runner-up in this year’s championship.

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

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