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Q&A with McLaren’s Jenson Button 08 May 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 battle for position.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 leads team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren and Martin Brundle (GBR) BBC Television Commentator on the grid. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 8 May 2011

A lot was expected from McLaren on Sunday in Turkey but in the end fourth for Lewis Hamilton and sixth for Jenson Button was the best the British team could muster. Button explains how his Istanbul race unfolded and discusses how a different strategy could have seen him finish higher up the order…

Q: Jenson, were you on the wrong strategy?
Jenson Button:
In a way, yes. I think that most people changed their strategy over the course of the race because they damaged their tyres in the first stint - and we didn’t. Our tyres were good everytime we came in for a change so we should have stayed out longer.

Q: Everybody was on a four-stop strategy, only you were on three stops. Was that the plan from the start?
JB:
I think that initially everybody was on a three-stop strategy and changed that over the course of the race - and we didn’t.

Q: Does that mean that four stops was the best way to go?
JB:
I wouldn’t say that. You could have made three stops work, but for that we had pitted too early and in the last stint my tyres didn’t allow to fight for position any more. The second issue was that we pitted into traffic when the plan was to pit into clean air.

Q: This season do you have to adapt the strategy as you go? Is it you or the team who decides?
JB:
It’s a bit of both. You are giving information about the tyres and how you feel in the car and they work out when it’s a good point to pit. Today it was not a perfect interaction.

Q: How did it feel as Rosberg was gaining on you?
JB:
Well in that situation I wasn’t racing anybody anymore - that’s simply not possibly when you’re sitting duck. You just try to get the best out of the car - that’s it. It was an unbelievable difference in speed because they can get a good run out of Turn 10 KERS and good grip. You can’t do anything in that situation.

Q: You and Lewis have been racing pretty hard. Are you surprised about that?
JB:
No, not at all. We didn’t touch, so it was fun. It is a pity to finish so far back after all our efforts. Everything in the first stint was looking so good. I think we did something wrong strategy-wise. It was definitely not what I was expecting from this race.

Q: Can you tell us exactly how the race was for you?
JB:
Well, I made a good start. I gained one position and it was running smoothly and I felt I was doing pretty well. When everybody pitted very early I put three more laps on my tyres and they felt pretty good still. But then - and I don’t know why - the next two stops were very early. Earlier than the tyres had in them, so the result was quite disappointing. At least I had fun and I am looking forward to the race in Barcelona in two weeks. We definitely will do better there.

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