• US GP - Race

Button frustrated by 'strange' McLaren pit swap

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2014 « Three-stop was unavoidable - Raikkonen | Car setting mistake cost Rosberg in Hamilton battle »
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Jenson Button says he is confused by McLaren's costly decision to switch his planned second pit stop with team-mate Kevin Magnussen during the United States Grand Prix.

Button was struggling with his rear tyres at the end of his first stint and under pressure from several cars behind, which prompted McLaren to tell him to push on lap 27 ahead of a planned pit stop. However, at the end of that lap, McLaren cancelled the order and brought Magnussen in instead, despite the fact the Dane was in clearer air further up the field.

As a result Button lost three places before shis own stop and, when told to come into the pits at the end of lap 28, sarcastically replied: "Are you sure I can come in, [or is there] anybody else you'd like to let through?" Button - who ended up finishing 12th - admits he does not understand McLaren's logic.

"The car in front has the call on pit stops but not when the car behind has been told he's pit stopping that lap," Button said. "Very weird, and I lost three places on the next lap so it did destroy it a little bit, but there you go. I don't think it would have cost Kevin much because he had a big enough gap to me but sometimes strange calls are made ... You're given a lap, you're told you've got the lap, and then it's taken away from you. It's quite unusual, but there you go."

Button says he does not understand why his rear tyres were causing him so much problems but that it made for a frustrating afternoon.

When asked if he enjoyed the race, having been in the thick of much of the action, Button said: "Not really, I had massive issues with the rear. The surface temperature was getting hot and the bulk was really dropping a lot, which means you're just slipping around. I struggled with that a lot, for some reason, compared to those around me. It's unusual to struggle with degradation, it's very strange."

The issues were so bad Button says his only focus at the end was getting to the finish line in one piece.

"I wouldn't say the end of the race was a battle for me with other drivers; it was a battle keeping the car on the circuit. The only fun bit really was the fight with Alonso."

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