• Indian Grand Prix

Button rues McLaren's soft tyre pace

ESPN Staff
October 28, 2012 « Car must improve for final McLaren win - Hamilton | Fuel saving prevents Massa fighting McLaren »
Jenson Button lost out to Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the opening stint © Sutton Images

Jenson Button said McLaren's lack of competitiveness was caused by poor pace on the soft tyre at the start of the race.

Having beaten Lewis Hamilton off the line, Button slipped behind Fernando Alonso and Hamilton during the opening stint. Although on the hard tyre he set the fastest lap of the race, Button crossed the line 26 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel and pointed to the soft tyre pace as the reason for his fifth-placed result.

"I really struggled in the first stint with the soft tyre with rear movement and I was destroying the front tyres so I struggled on it," Button said. "Then on the harder tyre the balance was good but I lost so much time behind Grosjean that was my race over really for a better position.

"The whole last stint the car was good; I think we were consistently quicker than the leaders but we lost so much in the first stint - Lewis and myself - the car just didn't work on that tyre."

Having fought with Hamilton and Alonso early on, Button admitted it had been a fun battle.

"It was great, a really enjoyable first lap and a good clean fight. I mean, it was so close the whole time but clean - three world champions fighting it out - so it was really enjoyable; just a pity the rest of the race wasn't as enjoyable!"

Asked if the tyre troubles would continue to Abu Dhabi, Button was more optimistic about next weekend's race.

"It's a very different circuit; this circuit is front limited whereas Abu Dhabi and most other circuits are rear limited. So it's a very different balance that we'll have and a different limitation which will probably help us."