• Monaco Grand Prix

Button has 'a few ideas' to solve tyre woes

ESPNF1 Staff
May 23, 2012 « Teams to change safety procedures after Williams fire | Alonso echoes Montezemolo's rallying call »
Jenson Button: "We thought that when it got hotter I wouldn't struggle but I have" © Sutton Images
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Jenson Button is still slightly puzzled by the tyre problems he experienced at the Spanish Grand Prix, but says he has now learned some lessons on how not to set his car up.

Button struggled to get his tyres into their operating window throughout the Barcelona weekend and suffered degradation issues in the race. By contrast his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton appeared to hit the sweet-spot, taking pole position - before a penalty demoted him to the back of the grid - but coming back through the field on a two-stop strategy to finish ahead of Button regardless.

Button has been struggling with issues since Bahrain but says he is coming to Monaco with "a few ideas" of how to solve them.

"We thought that when it got hotter I wouldn't struggle, but I have," he said in the paddock on Wednesday. "In the last two races I've had no pace at all and I've been degrading the tyres, which is something I've never had an issue with before.

"I think some of it is to do with the setup I've had on the car. It felt okay to try that setup on Friday [in Spain], but on Saturday the car felt completely different. Understanding the change is difficult, but if you look at the car as a basic car, you could look at it and say that's why I had the issues of not being able to look after the rear tyres. We know what not to do again and hopefully that will help with the consistency that we're used to having."

Button won the opening race in Australia but said changes to the setup needs of the McLaren on different types of circuits have prevented him from building on that success.

"The car was different in Melbourne than every other race," he said. "It was an unusual setup for a street circuit in Melbourne and here I don't think that will work, it's a proper street circuit here. But we have some understanding of why it felt good there I think."

However, Button is not concerned about his championship challenge just yet as he lies 16 points off joint leaders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

"When different people keep winning and the championship leader finishes fifth it's not such a problem," he added. "To be fair I've only finished three races in the points, and the last one wasn't really in the points. I've had a first, a second and a ninth and that means I'm 16 points off the lead, which is nothing.

"It's amazing how few points people are getting this year. I think there have been 125 points up for grabs and the leader has 61 - it just shows you how mixed up this season is. Obviously you want to be as consistent as possible and the people that really understand the tyres and can consistently score good points are the people that are going to be there at the end. We've got to get back consistency, and obviously we've got be consistently winning, but I don't think that's going to happen for a while yet."