Jenson Button dropped from third to seventh in the closing laps of the Singapore GP, but the McLaren driver insists that he would not have done any better had he gone for a different strategy.
Button joined Fernando, Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen in trying to run from the safety car to the flag without an extra pit stop, but while they were able to keep up a good pace, Button fell back when his tires gave up.
“We took a punt on the strategy,” said Button. “I don’t know how we thought we’d do 35 laps on a set of tires! I suppose Kimi did. But for us, we really struggled on traction. All weekend the supersoft tire has been working really well, and the prime feels like a completely different tire. I personally have been struggling on that tire to get it working, which is the same problem I had here last year. But we got some good points on the board, seventh isn’t too bad. But the last 10 laps were mighty painful!”
Button admitted that he might have been better off had he not used up his tires even earlier by working so hard to keep Kimi Raikkonen behind him.
“The problem was I had Kimi behind me for so long, about 20 laps. I just didn’t want to let him past. It’s easy to say it would have been the right thing to do now, but when you’re racing you’re not letting anyone past, especially Kimi! When he got past and he pulled away at 3s a lap I realized it was gone, fighting for a podium or anything close to that. Seventh isn’t too bad, and I don’t think whatever strategy we did today would have been any better than that.
“You never really know what’s going to happen to the tires. If you look at what happened in Monaco a couple of years ago, with Sebastian doing most of the race on the prime tire, we thought we’d give it a go. It didn’t work for us. We finished basically where I think we would have finished if we’d pitted.
“The thing that impressed me here was the Lotus pace. When Grosjean was out there he was setting purples the whole time, and Kimi obviously showed the pace. How he did that many laps on a set of tires when he was fighting to get past me I really don’t know.”