• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Start will be crucial - Button

ESPN Staff
October 27, 2012 « Massa thinks he could have qualified ahead of Alonso | Rosberg hopes saving fresh tyres pays off »
Jenson Button lines up fourth on the grid between both Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button says the start of the Indian Grand Prix will be crucial to the race result due to low tyre degradation.

The McLaren pair of Lewis Hamilton and Button start third and fourth behind the two Red Bulls having been unable to challenge for pole position. However, the McLaren's race pace has looked competitive all weekend, and Button believes in order to be able to make the most of it the start will be "very important" with one-stop strategies predicted.

"It's going to be interesting because the tyres are hanging on in there for a long period of time," Button said. "I think most people came here thinking it was going to be a two-stop, I think more people will be going towards a one-stop; I don't think everyone will, but I think most will. It's going to be an important start to the race. Turn one is going to be very important - and the first lap very important - to the end of race result.

"You can't obviously win everything in turn one, I think we've got to be a little bit careful but we're very good at judging how much to push and then we'll see. Hopefully it's going to be an interesting race; normally when there are less pit stops it's not as interesting as when there's more and high degradation but I'm sure there'll still be some good fighting. There are two DRS zones, the second is a little bit longer, so hopefully we can take advantage about that."

Button also explained why his lap time in the final part of qualifying was not as quick as his best in Q2, with the tyres being difficult to warm up for a flying lap.

"It was actually slower by two tenths. In Q2 I did a five-lap timed run, which seemed to work pretty well for me. I was struggling on one lap to get the tyres working. Went for a three-lap strategy in Q3 - which was the right thing for me I think - but didn't quite have the same feeling as I had in Q2 with grip. At high speed I had too much understeer in Q3 compared to my Q2 run and a few other things just didn't fit together.

"We've struggled with tyre temperature all weekend, I think we've done a great job as a team to actually improve that and try and find a way round the tyre temperature issues but it's a pity I couldn't improve because my Q2 lap was good."