• British Grand Prix

Disappointed Button rues team blunder

ESPNF1 Staff
July 10, 2011 « Teams fall short of exhaust agreement | »
Jenson Button walks away from his McLaren after the botched tyre change which ended his race © Getty Images
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Jenson Button remained calm, albeit bitterly disappointed, after his British Grand Prix ended early as a result of a botched pit stop when his front right wheel was not secured properly. He was lying sixth at the time.

"The guy on the front right lost a wheel nut and he went to get another one but as he turned I think the lollipop man thought we were good to go," he explained. "When I headed out as I turned up the hill, the wheel came off. I stopped immediately. It's very disappointing.

"We all make mistakes and you always hope they never happen. It's disappointing also because it was in front of a home crowd.

"I was enjoying the race, my pace was good. I caught up with Lewis [Hamilton], Sebastian [Vettel] and Mark [Webber]. It was looking sweet, I would have come out alongside Mark after my pit stop.

"Hopefully we won't have this sort of issue again. Anyone who had pace near the end had a chance of a podium and I definitely had pace. With the dry tyres on I felt really good, I had just got up to Webber before pitting.

"I'm sorry for the fans that we couldn't do more. This seems to be the way of it at British Grands Prix for me, but I'll try again next year."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh was at pains to underline how reliable the pit crew usually are. "[They have] done a fantastic job all year, but on this occasion they released Jenson before his right-front wheel had been properly attached. It was a case of human error in the heat of the moment. But, as I say, and as I want to stress the point, our pitcrew has completed dozens of faultless pitstops under extreme pressure this season and today's error was therefore totally atypical."