Japanese GP: Button hopes Red Bull form a one-off, but fears not

Jenson Button hopes Red Bull's commanding Japanese Grand Prix performance will be a one-off - but fears it might not

Japanese GP: Button hopes Red Bull form a one-off, but fears not

Sebastian Vettel led by as much as 20 seconds at Suzuka as he stormed to his third victory at the venue in four Formula 1 starts.

Button was able to convert his eighth place on the grid to a fourth-place finish, one spot ahead of his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

But Button could not get past Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber for third, and lost out to Felipe Massa's Ferrari at the first pitstops.

"Red Bull was very strong and we weren't on their pace today," Button admitted.

"We were very similar to the Saubers and the Ferraris. The Ferrari was probably a little bit quicker. We'll see what happens when we get to Korea."

Asked if he had expected Red Bull to be so dominant, Button replied: "I think they're a little bit quicker than what we thought, but they're always quick here.

"Last year, you'd say they weren't as quick as normal, and that's the reason we could fight for the win. But this is, for some reason, always a very good Red Bull circuit.

"We've got to hope that this is a stand-out race for them but I'd be surprised.

"They're going very well and they're doing a good job. Getting both cars on the front row proved that."

Button spent the second half of the race striving to get past home hero Kobayashi for third but could not make it through.

"I think he actually controlled that set of tyres pretty well," said Button of Kobayashi.

"The second set, he didn't, and he destroyed them after just a few laps, so that's why I was able to get close.

"I got close a few times but the problem was the only way I could get DRS was to brake so late for the chicane and every time I tried I
locked up and ran wide."

shares
comments
Japanese GP: HRT Sunday quotes

Previous article

Japanese GP: HRT Sunday quotes

Next article

Japanese GP: McLaren Sunday quotes

Japanese GP: McLaren Sunday quotes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Matt Beer
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021