Jenson Button reckons McLaren's slow final pitstop cost him shot at beating Nico Rosberg's Mercedes to Chinese Grand Prix victory
|By Simon Strang and Jonathan Noble||Sunday, April 15th 2012, 09:31 GMT|
Jenson Button's slow final pitstop in the Chinese Grand Prix cost him the chance to chase down eventual winner Nico Rosberg, reckoned the McLaren driver afterwards.
Button emerged from a hugely competitive pack in pursuit of Rosberg as the man most likely to fight the German for the win, and had opted for a three-stop strategy to maximise his time on fresh Pirellis.
The last stop however took more than nine seconds, which dropped Button back to sixth, and stuck behind a number of cars all fighting for second position.
"I came to the marks [in the pits], but we had a problem at the rear of the car so I sat there for nine or 10 seconds, I think it was. It was a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars in front of me," said Button. "[They were] cars that I wouldn't have been racing and I would have had a nice clear track to hopefully hunt down Nico.
"It was a big gap but you have to give it a go. All in all it was a fun day, a good race, good overtaking out there and nice with that issue to come away with some good points for second place.
"We made it harder for ourselves in the last stint with a long pitstop, but these things happen," he added.
Button fought his way back to second position in the end, having battled past Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus and both Red Bulls.
"It was a great race," he said. "We went for a three-stop strategy which was different. It was really good fun even with the problem we had, but I am happy to come home second, it was a good fight and most of it very clean, which is good to see.
"When you are in front on the first few laps and the you drop into traffic... I knew we had traffic and I was picking them off nicely, but after the last pitstop it became more difficult.
"Kimi was leading the train and everyone was DRSing, so until Seb [Vettel] had a go at Kimi I couldn't have a go at Seb. Overtaking Seb was the most fun of the race, or perhaps Romain Grosjean going through right hander onto the back straight."