Jenson Button has never finished on the podium at a Korean Grand Prix, having a rather poor track record at the Korea International Circuit. He finished well outside of the points in 2010, had a rather average run to fourth in 2011 and was eliminated last year after a crash with Kamui Kobayashi on the first lap.
Despite the Brit’s torrid trend around the circuit, he is even more determined to get a good result under his belt and help McLaren cement their fifth place in the constructor’s standings.
Speaking ahead of the 14th round of the 2013 season in a team statement he said: “If there’s one circuit on the F1 calendar that hasn’t been particularly kind to me, then it’s the track in Korea. I had a pretty tough race there in 2010, an average race there in ’11, and I didn’t even have a race there last year – someone smashed into me at Turn Three on the first lap, and my race was over.
“Of course, it would be easy for that to make your head drop, but, in fact, the opposite is true: I travel to Korea next week even more determined than normal to reverse the trend, get the absolute maximum from the car and get a good result. I think we had a solid weekend in Singapore, the engineers, the strategists and the mechanics got the best from the car, and we couldn’t have realistically expected more. That’s the aim again next weekend.”
He added: “This is the first of three pairs of back-to-back races that conclude the season. I think it’s very important for us to further consolidate our position in the championship, so getting points in both Korea and Japan will be important. We go into this weekend with maximum commitment.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez goes into the round with plenty to prove after a flurry of rumours developed over the Singapore Grand Prix regarding his race seat. The Mexican driver explained the challenges of the Korea International Circuit, saying that it is highly rewarding to get a good result.
He said: “The Korea International Circuit is an interesting venue – it’s got two very distinct elements, the first half, which is basically a couple of heavy braking zones and three extremely long straights; and the final section, which is a long, undulating section with a mix of high- and medium-speed corners.
“The aim is to have a car that works well in the principal overtaking areas – into Turns One and Three – which means making a little bit of a compromise to the set-up. That’s particularly important because it’s very difficult to overtake once you get into the twisty section, as there’s really only a single racing line. The Korean Grand Prix is a very tough race – it might not have that reputation, but, make no mistake, to do well here is always extremely rewarding.”
McLaren go into the Korean Grand Prix weekend with just a 14 point buffer over rivals Force India.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic