• Chinese Grand Prix

'I didn't have the pace' - Button

ESPNF1 Staff
April 17, 2011 « Vettel's second place good for championship - Webber | »
Jenson Button finished fourth despite leading the first part of the race © Getty Images

Jenson Button said he wasn't quick enough to challenge for victory after finishing fourth in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Having started in second place, Button took the lead from Sebastian Vettel off the start line, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton following him past the pole sitter. With the McLaren pair, Vettel, Rosberg and Massa all within striking distance of the lead for much of the race, it was Hamilton who passed all of them to take victory. Button said he wasn't fast enough, but enjoyed the action-packed race.

"First of all massive congratulations to Lewis, he drove a great race," Button said. "It was one of those races where there was a lot overtaking, a lot of action involved, so it was good fun to be a part of but I wasn't quick enough. I really struggled to look after the rear tyres for some reason. So, fourth place, it was as good as I could get out of the car.

It's enjoyable, but also you're a sitting duck when people have got newer tyres, you can't do anything. For example when [Mark] Webber passed me he was just so much faster, you really can't do anything, you try and fight back, but you don't have the grip so you don't have the braking power, you don't have the traction so it's very tricky.

Despite losing out to Webber for third late in the race, Button said he was relatively pleased considering how far off the pace McLaren appeared at the start of the season.

"A tough afternoon for me, I just didn't have the pace," he said. "I am [much happier]. But I mean you forget very quickly don't you, and you always think about the future and this moment in time, and it was a tough afternoon for me. Could have been a bit better but also could have been a lot worse so fourth is OK."

Button also pointed to the importance of tyre strategy during the race, and said he didn't help his cause by stopping in the Red Bull pit slot when coming in for his first stop.

"Getting strategy right is very important as you can see by Webber finishing up behind his team-mate, Sebastian started on pole and Webber was 18th. It really is amazing, but basically I wasn't quick enough today and that's it. But a fantastic job by Lewis and the whole team. I made it difficult for them at the first stop as well, I was basically looking down when I came in to the pits and went in to the wrong pit spot. I was looking down and when I looked back up - I don't know. It wouldn't actually have changed my race at all but I just made it a bit tougher for the guys."