- US Grand Prix
P2 could be better than pole - Button
Jenson Button thinks starting from second on the grid could offer an advantage over starting from pole position at this weekend's US Grand Prix because of the steep gradient up to turn one.
There is 40-metres of elevation between the grid and the apex of turn one at the Circuit of the Americas, creating one of the most characteristic features of the new track. After walking the circuit on Thursday, Button said he thought there would be some interesting action into the first corner as well as a slight disadvantage for the driver starting on pole position.
"You want to qualify well here because I think people will be trying some unusual things into turn one," he said. "We'll all get there and we won't have a clue where the apex is because the only car that will know will be the one on the inside. He's the only one that's going to see it because the rest will be in a bit of no-man's land. A good start is important and I think P2 is actually better than P1 round here because he's got a little bit of a flatter run before the hill whereas P1 is straight into the hill."
Button said the gradient will also change the braking point for drivers in turn one.
"Coming off the startline and going straight in to a hill, the braking point is going to be very different and when you brake two metres later on a hill it's like braking one metre later on a flat surface. There is going to be a lot of playing around with braking and not many people are going to get it right at the start."
With the potential for thrills and spills into the first corner and a series of fast and technical corners over the rest of the lap, Button is confident Formula One has the perfect venue to launch itself in F1 after five years away from the sport.
"I think we will get people interested in the sport," he said. "Indianapolis was always difficult but this is a purpose-built circuit for an F1 car and when people see and hear what a Formula One car can do they will be very interested."