Button unhappy with strategy
McLaren driver 'stuffed' by decision to switch to a three-stop strategy
Last Updated: 30/07/12 8:58am
Jenson Button has questioned McLaren's tyre strategy after dropping back to a modest sixth in Sunday's Hungarian GP.
Having run in third position throughout the first stint of the race, Button was comprehensively undone by McLaren's decision, taken mid-way through the grand prix, to change to a three-stop strategy that saw him jumped by Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
I just don't know why we pitted so early each time," lamented Jenson to Sky Sports F1. "On the second and third stops we pitted very early and the tyres were still in good condition. I guess the team thought I would get the jump on the car in front but that wasn't the case. I didn't come out in clean air either time."
"The strategy would have only worked if the cars in front of him were on a three-stop strategy as well. It was obvious that he was going to get stuck behind cars going slower than him"
Sky Sports F1's Damon Hill on why Jenson Button's race unravelled. Quotes of the week
Button was particularly frustrated by a long spell tucked up behind the Williams of Bruno Senna. With a previously-frustrated Vettel released from shadowing the McLaren and Raikkonen delivering a series of blistering laps further up the road, it was at this stage of the race when Button's afternoon suddenly unravelled.
"I said to the guys, 'is this traffic I'm in quicker than the guys in front?' and they said 'no'. I was a bit stuffed really, I don't think we looked too good when it came to strategy today. Hopefully we'll learn from that."
Button, to his considerable credit, immediately countered his understandable frustration with a message of congratulations to team-mate Lewis Hamilton following his victory. Button's disappointing result, however, leaves his own title hopes hanging by a thread as the season enters its summer break.
Asked how he would enter the August sabbatical, Button answered: "Not happy with the strategy, but happy where we've taken the car."