Button 'too conservative' with tyres

Jenson Button declared himself happy with a seventh-placed finish as he opened his world title defence, but admitted afterwards that he was too conservative in his protection of the tyres

Button 'too conservative' with tyres

Button felt that he could have pushed harder in his first stint, and then found himself frustrated and caught behind Michael Schumacher after the pitstops.

"I was a bit sad we pitted when we did because I felt that I had looked after the tyres a little bit too much, because the last five laps of the stint I was able to push and catch Webber and Michael," he told the BBC.

"And then Michael obviously pitted the lap before me which helped him quite a lot and he was able to pull away.

"But I jumped Webber in the stops which was great - really good pitstops by the guys. Lewis and I both jumped someone in the stops which was great."

Button added that he believed the McLaren looked after its tyres well, but that he still needed time to make the MP4-25 work the way he prefers.

"Initially I was very cautious with the tyres, but they seemed to hold pretty well which was surprising actually they were better than I thought," he said. "I think we are pretty good at looking after our tyres but there is always room for improvement. We all want more speed and we all want more downforce.

"Set-up wise the car was okay, there are a few little things I need to look to make it a little bit more my style. But it's a good first race, I'm very happy with it."

Button admitted that he was not able to pass Schumacher's Mercedes in the second phase of the race because of his McLaren's lack of downforce through Bahrain's middle sector.

"It was initially pacing myself with the tyres and then I started pushing with 20 laps to go," he said. "I caught up with Michael and I couldn't do anything then. I didn't have enough pace in the middle section to stay with him to have a go in the last sector.

"That was disappointing but it was still fun all the same."

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