Jenson Button has expressed a fear that the Monaco Grand Prix could become a processional affair, with the tyre wear so low around the tight and twisty confines of the Monte-Carlo street circuit. For the third time this season the 2009 World Champion has been out-qualified by his rookie team-mate of Kevin Magnussen, after being eliminated from proceedings after Q2.
During the second segment of the all-important qualifying hour Jenson Button found himself frustratingly impeded by a Toro Rosso through the final sector, which prevented the Briton from producing a lap time representative of his car’s pace. Whilst Kevin Magnussen excelled around the street circuit on his Formula 1 debut around the Principality in Formula 1 machinery, former Monaco Grand Prix winner Jenson Button found himself a lowly 12th and eliminated from proceedings along with the Williams and Lotus duo within the incredibly competitive midfield.
With passing notoriously difficult around the Monte-Carlo street circuit and Pirelli’s selection of soft and super-soft tyres lasting longer than usual, Jenson Button is fearful that the 78-lap Monaco Grand Prix could become processional with a lack of overtaking. Although there is a slight possibility of rain throughout the race day, which would undoubtedly spice up the action, the 34-year-old is hoping the rain fails to materialise as he believes that no-one enjoys competing around the Monte-Carlo street circuit in inclement weather conditions.
“On the first lap of my final run in Q2, I came across one of the Toro Rossos at the Swimming Pool,” explained Jenson Button after the qualifying hour. “I don’t think he initially saw me, then he tried to back out of the corner, but there wasn’t enough room for two cars into the second part of that particular part of the circuit. The race will be tough starting from 12th position – the tyres last so long around here, so it could end up being quite processional. Maybe somebody will be brave and try some moves and make the race a bit of fun. Let’s see if that upsets the order. I’m not hoping for rain on Sunday; no driver likes the wet around here, especially with these tyres – you can’t get enough temperature into them. For everybody’s sake, I think it’ll be better if it’s dry tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough race for me, but I’ll see what I can do.”
With an average amount of overtakes around Monaco of only 11.25 throughout the last four races, in stark contrast to the likes of Malaysia which boasts an average of 34.75 overtakes throughout the last four years, Jenson Button’s fears of a lack of overtaking could well become a reality during the 78-lap race. However, with this year’s breed of cars unquestionably more of a handful to control in comparison to last season, the potential for a high rate of attrition could be the ticket in allowing Jenson Button to score a handful of points in the race.
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