Jenson Button has said that staying out on track and going to the end on his third set of tyres was the right strategy call and that a different strategy would not have helped him finish in a higher position.
The Brit crossed the line in seventh place after climbing to as high as third place mid-way through his final stint. However, his tyres found the cliff and he dropped down the order, only just holding on to a points finish.
Speaking about his eventful race he said: “We thought we might have a chance of a podium, but in the end we didn’t have the pace to keep us ahead of the closing cars. It was good fun trying though, and we have to take risks if we want to get podium finishes this year.
“We expected to spend most of the race on the Option tyre, so we’d set the car up for that. The Prime tyre didn’t work so well for me, and having to hold Kimi off for so long destroyed my rear tyres and made things very tricky. In the end, as I say, we simply didn’t have enough pace to stop him overtaking.”
However, he believes that it was a good attempt and the end result was the best that they could have expected: “It was a good try though, and a P7 finish isn’t too bad. We couldn’t have done any better with a different strategy, I’m certain of that, and I’m glad we got some good points for the team.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez finished right on his team-mate’s tail in eighth place, the team’s first double points finish since Hungary. The Mexican feels that his charge wasn’t helped by the mid-race safety car period but that it is a good result nonetheless: “I think we should be satisfied with today’s result – as Jenson says P7 and P8 was probably the best we could have achieved today.”
He added: “In my view the Safety Car came at the wrong time for us, so we had to take a risk by choosing to drive to the finish with two pit-stops. It was pretty tough to keep the car out of the barriers – not to crash yet to lose too much lap-time – but as I say I think it was the right choice.”
The improved result means McLaren continue to extend their advantage over Force India in the battle for fifth in the constructor’s standings.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic