Date:Monday April 16 2012
Jenson Button probably came away from the Chinese Grand Prix just as satisfied as eventual race winner Nico Rosberg.
Not that he would admit it.
While McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton was dialled in and on the pace throughout the entire weekend, Jenson Button struggled throughout practice with steering issues.
The pace for the McLaren was clearly there, but in practice and in part to the colder than expected track and air temperatures in China, Button struggled.
In Free Practice 1, Button was eight a whopping 2.093 seconds behind the pace of Hamilton. Of course both drivers are concentrating on various set-ups during practice, but it wouldn't have been the start Button was looking for.
In FP2 Button was 0.738 off the pace of Schumacher and still over 0.5 second behind Hamilton.
On Saturday, Button finally closed the gap on Hamilton, he was still slower than his team-mate, but he was second on the time-sheets and McLaren went into qualifying, hopeful they could once again lock out the front row, of course only temporarily due to Hamilton's gear box penalty.
But it wasn't to be as Hamilton was beaten to pole position by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, while Button was also behind the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi and the other Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.
Once again Button confessed that he was struggling with the cooler temperatures.
ďIn Q1, we went out on the softer tyre and put a lap on it when most of the other teams didnít. In Q2, I felt I had too much understeer, so we made a few adjustments for Q3. However, I could feel the temperature dropping in that final session: I think we just went out a little too late. Of course, thatís a little bit disappointing, but our race pace seems to be very good. Itís going to be tricky to get heat into the front tyres if itís cold' Button told formula1.com after qualifying.
But if qualifying was poor by Button's standards it was all forgotten by the first corner.
Starting ahead of Hamilton due to his grid penalty, Button managed to beat both Raikkonen and Kobayashi into the first corner to tuck in behind the Mercedes duo of Rosberg and Schumacher.
Button simply didn't have the pace of the Mercedes during the early part of the race, but Schumacher was the big casualty of the first round of pit-stops, the front right tyre changer didn't manage to bolt on his wheel before the traffic light system went green and Schumacher was released from the garage with only three wheels safely attached to his car and he went on to retire after a few corners.
Button didn't have his own way in the pits either and when a slow change at the back end of his car lost him 6 seconds or so, it was clear he wasn't going to be able to challenge Rosberg for the win as he now had to battle through a train of cars to regain track position.
After the race Button told the press: 'who knows what we could have achieved if weíd had a clear run at him in the final stint? Our pace was very good and the aim was to come out ahead of that following pack of cars - which we would have done if we hadnít lost time in the pitstop - and chase him down and put him under pressure. The delay in the final stop was just one of those things though - all the other stops had been very strong this weekend, but that one in particular wasnít. The delay pushed me back into the traffic, which was a little bit of a shock, but the pace and consistency are there in the car and I was able to get back into second position, after a good battle and a satisfying pass on Sebastian (Vettel). Itís disappointing not to have been able to challenge for the win, but it was a fun race with tons of overtaking and lots of battling. More important, itís been a great day for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes because weíre now leading both world championships.'
Date:Monday April 16 2012
Could F1 pull Russian Grand Prix? (Thursday July 24 2014)
F1 return to Mexico confirmed (Thursday July 24 2014)
McLaren and Mercedes target Vettel (Thursday July 24 2014)
FIA set interesting precedent says Horner (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Wolff predicts Abu Dhabi showdown (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Blog: German GP Report (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Accident wasn't scary from cockpit says Massa (Monday July 21 2014)
Alonso loved Ricciardo tussle (Monday July 21 2014)
Button backtracks (Monday July 21 2014)
What a week for Rosberg (Monday July 21 2014)
2014 - Germany - Race (Sunday July 20 2014)
Blog: Hockenheim Qualifying (Sunday July 20 2014)
Hamilton bruised but ok following shunt (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - Qualifying (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP3 (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP2 (Friday July 18 2014)
Wolff enjoys fantastic practice session (Friday July 18 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP1 (Friday July 18 2014)
Mercedes play down FRIC ban (Friday July 18 2014)
Rosberg plays down importance of next race (Friday July 18 2014)
Possible change to unsafe release penalties (Thursday July 17 2014)
Video: Rosberg signs Mercedes extension (Thursday July 17 2014)
F1 title chase starts now (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Oh FRIC, teams fail to find agreement (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Force India confident for good German performance (Tuesday July 15 2014)
McLaren confident in upgrades (Tuesday July 15 2014)
Schumacher's health 'slowly improving' says wife (Monday July 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 10 (Monday July 14 2014)
Who will win the German Grand Prix (Monday July 14 2014)
Red Bull have failed to close the gap (Friday July 11 2014)
Bianchi impresses for Ferrari (Thursday July 10 2014)
Blog: What a difference a day makes (Thursday July 10 2014)
F1 teams could face suspension systems ban (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Massa quickest at Silverstone test (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Rosberg plays down Hamilton row (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Bottas finish surprises Williams (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I'm at the top of my game says Button (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I was lucky says Chilton (Monday July 7 2014)
Raikkonen ok after horror smash (Monday July 7 2014)
Rosberg reflects (Monday July 7 2014)
Perfect day for Hamilton (Monday July 7 2014)
2014 - Britain - Race (Sunday July 6 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 6 2014)
2014 - Britain - Qualifying (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP3 (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP2 (Friday July 4 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP1 (Friday July 4 2014)
Button hits back at Dennis (Friday July 4 2014)
Video: Hamilton hoping for home glory (Thursday July 3 2014)
Pirelli boss defends F1 2014 tyres (Thursday July 3 2014)
Caterham sold (Thursday July 3 2014)
Beating Vettel gives Ricciardo confidence (Wednesday July 2 2014)
McLaren boss critical of Button (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Bernie wants three car teams (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Kobayashi ignores Caterham rumours (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Memories (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Renault progress limited until end of the year (Monday June 30 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 9 (Monday June 30 2014)
Who will win the British Grand Prix? (Monday June 30 2014)
F1 drivers speak out on rule change (Friday June 27 2014)
Ugly noses banned from F1 (Friday June 27 2014)
Standing restarts approved for F1 2015 (Friday June 27 2014)
Ecclestone slams poor teams (Thursday June 26 2014)
McLaren make Hamilton & Alonso approaches? (Thursday June 26 2014)
Standing restarts proposed (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Video: Schumacher medical data stolen (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Red Bull boss slams Renault again (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Williams maximised result in Austria (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Damage limitation for Hamilton (Monday June 23 2014)
Rosberg pleased with increased points lead (Monday June 23 2014)
2014 - Austria - Race (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP3 (Saturday June 21 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP2 (Friday June 20 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP1 (Friday June 20 2014)
Force India challenge Perez penalty (Friday June 20 2014)
Red Bull challenge (Thursday June 19 2014)
Does Rosberg hold psychological edge? (Thursday June 19 2014)
F1 strategy meeting to be held (Wednesday June 18 2014)
Red Bull are not a one man team (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Austria could suit Lotus (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Ferrari remain committed to F1 (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Vettel wasn't committed says Marko (Monday June 16 2014)
Schumacher 'out of coma' (Monday June 16 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 8 (Monday June 16 2014)
Who will win the Austrian Grand Prix (Monday June 16 2014)
Pirelli boss pleased with racing (Friday June 13 2014)
Chilton takes the penalty (Friday June 13 2014)
Newey to step back from F1 and enter America's Cup (Thursday June 12 2014)
Hamilton remains confident of title run (Thursday June 12 2014)
Horner congratulates Red Bull driver programme (Wednesday June 11 2014)
Hass all set to name engine supplier (Wednesday June 11 2014)
First win surreal for Ricciardo (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Williams & Force India go public (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Perez & Massa continue battle post hospital (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Blog: Canadian GP Report (Monday June 9 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||432|