• Italian Grand Prix

Button takes positives despite retirement

ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012 « Raikkonen pleased with damage limitation | 'Morose and monosyllabic' Hamilton fuels speculation »
Jenson Button slipped 78 points behind Fernando Alonso in the championship standings © Sutton Images

Jenson Button said he was encouraged by McLaren's consistency in recent races despite having to retire from the Italian Grand Prix.

A suspected fuel pick-up problem forced Button to stop on lap 33 when he looked set to finish second to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton went on to win the race to give McLaren its third consecutive vicotry, and while Button was disappointed by his car's failure he pointed to the pace shown by both cars as reason for optimism.

"I don't entirely know what caused my car to stop," Button said. "I'm told it was a fuel system problem that we're still investigating. The engine cut out and I had to coast to a stop. These things happen.

"But, looking for the positives, I want to offer my congratulations to the whole team. We've proven over the past few races that we're very strong in both qualifying trim and race trim. That consistency is really key, and we haven't seen that form from any team all season, so that's very encouraging indeed."

Button added that he was not in the hunt for victory after the gap that Hamilton had managed to pull out in the first stint.

"I had too much wheelspin at the start, and that dropped me to third and caused me to lose a lot of time behind Felipe [Massa]. But it was nice to get past him, put some clear air between us, and then start chasing down Lewis. I was never going to challenge him for the win, but it would have been great for the team if we could have finished first and second. But it wasn't to be."