Abu Dhabi GP: Button was not expecting Vettel's 'brave' pass

Jenson Button admitted he had not expected Sebastian Vettel to make such a "brave" move on him for third place at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi GP: Button was not expecting Vettel's 'brave' pass

The world championship leader went around the outside of Button's McLaren into Turn 11 with four laps to go.

The pass completed Vettel's charge from the tail of the field after his Red Bull was disqualified from qualifying for a fuel infringement.

"It was very brave of him," said Button. "If I'd locked up and run wide, we would've crashed.

"It was a very unusual move. I didn't expect that."

Despite being impressed with Vettel's pass, Button reckoned there was no way he could have held the Red Bull back.

Suggesting that the race's two safety cars allowed Vettel to "luck in" with his tyre strategy, Button said: "It was impossible because he was on brand new tyres and you just can't get traction with old tyres, especially old primes."

Having been very pleased with his McLaren on Friday, Button was left baffled when he struggled to sixth in qualifying. His lack of pace continued on Sunday, when his team-mate Lewis Hamilton led comfortably before retiring with a fuel pump issue.

"It was quite a fun race but at no point did I have the pace," Button said.

"I really struggled. It was very different to my Friday run. I just couldn't find the grip. It was really, really strange."

Button added: "Obviously the car is working because Lewis has been very, very quick all weekend."

McLaren now trails Ferrari by 22 points in the battle for second in the constructors' championship with two rounds to go.

"With Lewis's problem, we've lost more points to Ferrari. That's a pity," said Button. "We've just got to make sure we have two big races now."

The Briton spent some of the race pressuring Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for what would become second place, but reckoned he never had a shot at passing.

"I just couldn't get near Fernando," Button said. "I didn't have the straightline speed and traction is also an area where we're lacking."

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi GP: Mercedes Sunday quotes

Previous article

Abu Dhabi GP: Mercedes Sunday quotes

Next article

Abu Dhabi GP: Sauber Sunday quotes

Abu Dhabi GP: Sauber Sunday quotes
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021