• Japanese Grand Prix

McLaren not quick enough - Button

ESPN Staff
October 7, 2012 « Red Bull will be tough to beat - Hamilton | Retirement doesn't affect championship - Alonso »
Jenson Button was running third early in the race but was jumped by Felipe Massa © Press Association

Jenson Button said McLaren was not quick enough to challenge for any higher than third place in the Japanese Grand Prix after finishing fourth.

Having started eighth, Button found himself third exiting turn two as he avoiding the first corner crash between Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber. However, Button couldn't make progress and had to settle for fourth place despite pressuring Kamui Kobayashi to the line, and he said it was disappointing not to be able to capitalise on the impressive start.

"The start was good, the start off the line was good; I got past Fernando [Alonso] and another car so I was already up to seventh and then I got round the incident and I was third," Button said. "So a fantastic start but we couldn't really do a lot with it, fourth was not what we were hoping for from that position but that was what we got; we just weren't quick enough out there."

Button also said that Kobayashi would have held him off more comfortably but for a poor middle stint of the race.

"I think he actually controlled that (last) set of tyres pretty well. On the second set he didn't - he had destroyed them after just a few laps - so that's why I was able to get close, but that set he controlled a bit better. The last lap is when they started to go and I got close but the only way I could get DRS was to brake so late for the chicane and every time I tried I locked up and ran wide.

"It's not a bad result considering where I started; I was third after turn two but our first pit stop we got a little bit wrong and it's very difficult to overtake as we found out and Felipe [Massa] was able to jump us. It was always going to be difficult to beat Felipe because he started the race with new tyres because he started tenth but he didn't actually get in to Q3 so he had brand new tyres. But anyway, not bad, fourth place, some more points but I don't think we had the pace today."

Having radioed in to the team on numerous occasions complaining of a gearbox problem, Button revealed he felt it was an issue with the box following pit stops.

"It kept going in to neutral, kept missing gears and going in to neutral. It was after the stops for about three laps each time so I kept changing down and there's no gears - it was in neutral - so it was tricky, but then the guys said there was no problem so I guess it was just syncing the gears after the pit stops."

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