• Bahrain Grand Prix

Strategy might not save McLaren in Bahrain

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2013 « 'A lot of pressure' on McLaren - Button | Vettel expecting strong Ferrari challenge »
Jenson Button believes everything will have to go "perfectly" for him to finish as high as fifth in Bahrain © Getty Images
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Jenson Button is concerned that McLaren might not be able to rescue solid points through an alternate strategy in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having started the season well off the pace, Jenson Button was on for at least fifth on a two-stop strategy in Malaysia when a problem at his final pit stop caused him to retire. In China, the strategy again worked and this time Button did secure fifth place as all of the cars ahead pitted three times.

Button admits that in order to salvage good results McLaren has to try something different with its strategy compared to the rest of the front runners but he is worried that there won't be a viable alternative in Bahrain.

"I think we've been improving since the first race; every race we have made improvements and I think maybe these circuits suit the car a little bit more in terms of where we have to put the car in terms of set-up. To finish fifth in the last race and to beat some very quick cars, to do that we had to try something different. We beat every single car on the grid - at least one of the drivers - which is positive I think. P5 is not where we want to be but I think we have to take a lot from last weekend.

"Yes we had to try a different strategy; we had to try and do a two-stop. We felt it was the quickest way to the end of the race for us but it was very tricky to make it work because of the stint lengths that you needed; if you didn't make the stint length then you dropped in to a three-stop race and by that point you're pretty much out of the points. We had to make it work and a lot went in to the strategy and trying to understand what we have to do with the tyres and the lap time we had to do. So it was a tricky weekend but in the end a good result I think we should be very happy with.

"Here, we have to wait and see. It's tough on tyres round here, it's hot, tough on the cars in terms of cooling, so we have to see first of all what downforce people are running and how the degradation is to see what we do with the car. Here I think it's probably more likely everyone's going to be running the same sort of strategy, but we have to wait and see."