Jenson Button baffled by Saturday slump at Brazilian Grand Prix

Jenson Button does not understand why his McLaren-Honda handled so poorly in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying, as he exited in Q1 while team-mate Fernando Alonso made the top 10

Jenson Button baffled by Saturday slump at Brazilian Grand Prix

Button was 10th fastest in the second practice session on Friday at Interlagos, but struggled as conditions cooled significantly for final practice and qualifying.

The 2009 world champion was only 17th on Saturday morning, and failed to improve on that position in qualifying.

McLaren swapped Button's engine and gearbox overnight, but the Brit said that should not have caused the oversteer that plagued him all day.

"The car was well balanced yesterday, and today it's a completely different car," rued Button, who said he was "quite happy" this was the penultimate qualifying session before he steps back from racing in F1.

"[I had] massive oversteer at high speed.

"When it's cooler you normally pick up a lot of rear grip, [but] in high speed it's just so on the nose, and then you destroy the rears for the low speed.

"There's no reason why it should be so on the nose - it was like that from the word go this morning.

"It's weird that compared to the other car they were struggling in high speed yesterday, and today they understeered.

"[There is] definitely something awry - the engine, gearbox and suspension were changed, but that shouldn't make any difference.

"It's frustrating because there's no major reason for it as far as we can see. I can't explain it.

"The last six races have been terrible [in qualifying], I don't know why."

ALONSO CONCERNED BY WILLIAMS RACE THREAT

Team-mate Alonso suffered a difficult Friday, which ended with his car breaking down with an ERS water leak, and him briefly operating FOM's TV camera at Turn 3.

He recovered to be 10th fastest in qualifying, ahead of both Williams drivers, and just over a tenth behind the Force India of Sergio Perez.

The Spaniard reckons it will be difficult to keep the Williams pair behind in the race, if conditions remain dry.

"That's a big threat for us," said Alonso, who reckoned his car "behaved fantastically" in qualifying, where he felt the cool conditions suited his overnight set-up changes and driving style.

"It was a bit of a surprise to see both Williams out [in Q2], but I think tomorrow they're very strong.

"In terms of targets for the race it will depend a lot on whether it's raining or not if we are to be in the points.

"I think in wet conditions we can beat them. In dry conditions will be harder."

shares
comments
Horner says Wolff 'totally wrong' to try to influence Verstappen
Previous article

Horner says Wolff 'totally wrong' to try to influence Verstappen

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo says Ferrari should drop Mexico penalty appeal

Daniel Ricciardo says Ferrari should drop Mexico penalty appeal
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022