• Malaysian Grand Prix

Button rues early pit gamble

ESPNF1 Staff
April 4, 2010 « Rosberg thanks team for result | »
Jenson Button fought from 17th to eighth © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button said his gamble to pit early to change to Prime tyres during the early stages of the race cost him a better result.

Button, who battled to eighth place after starting 17th on the grid, started the race on the Option tyres but struggled for grip and lost time as a result.

"My first stint was very tough. I went for the outside at the first corner - and as things turned out it wasn't the right place to be," said Button. "So I fell back, and was then stuck behind Fernando, who I just couldn't overtake. I found the Option tyres quite difficult in the early laps - I had no rear grip in the high-speed stuff. I couldn't overtake, and lost lots of time, so I took the gamble to pit early and drop back into a clear track. I made up a lot of ground, but I was on the Primes for so long that it became difficult to hold back cars that were two seconds a lap quicker than me."

Button found himself under severe threat from Fernando Alonso during the later stages of the race until the Ferrari driver was forced to retire.

"Felipe [Massa] eventually got past. Fernando [Alonso] tried a couple of times - the last time he went really deep into Turn One, but I managed to repass him on the exit - and then suddenly his engine was gone. I don't know what happened to him, but we had a good fight. I didn't realise that fighting for eighth was going to be so difficult! However, it's good to get some points again."