Button Still Winless after 99 Races

Jenson Button's hopes of a first Grand Prix victory in 99 starts ended in bitter disappointment as the Briton finished fifth in Japan on Sunday

Button Still Winless after 99 Races

Button started on the front row in his BAR but engine suppliers Honda had little to celebrate in their home race at Suzuka.

"We lost about seven seconds on the first stop because the cat flap (fuel cap) didn't open," he said. "I was really annoyed with that but when I realised our pace wasn't that great I sort of calmed down a bit.

"We wouldn't have won the race anyway."

Button's Japanese teammate Takuma Sato's 13th place was thrown out after a collision with Italian Jarno Trulli's Toyota on a bad day for BAR in Sato's last race for the team in Japan.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen won the season's penultimate race with a masterful display, highlighting the enormous gulf Button and BAR have to make up next season.

"We had massive under-steer," said Button, who is ninth in the drivers' standings with just next week's Chinese Grand Prix left this season.

"It's a problem we've had all year but it seems to have got worse the last couple of races. The Renault seems to run with quite a lot of under-steer but they actually run at a much higher speed through the corners."

The Renaults of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and newly crowned World Champion Fernando Alonso finished second and third respectively at Suzuka.

"It's not just a balance issue, it's not like we add some front wing and we're going to be blisteringly quick. It's not like that," said Button, who has collected 36 points this season compared with Alonso's 123.

"It's a serious problem we need to look at and try and solve but it won't solve by the next race. It's a big issue which we need to solve."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Author Alaistar Himmer
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