Malaysian GP: McLaren says Button's pitstop mess was human error

McLaren says the pitstop mess that ruined Jenson Button's Malaysian Grand Prix was caused by human error

Malaysian GP: McLaren says Button's pitstop mess was human error

Button was on course for at least fifth place when he prematurely pulled away from his third pitstop.

His car's right-front wheel had not been properly attached and he had to stop in the pitlane and wait for his mechanics to pull him back.

Button spent nearly 1m45s in the pits during the incident and fell to 14th place. He recovered to 12th before retiring due to a severe tyre vibration.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said the pitstop traffic light system had been triggered early and given Button a signal to go.

"For about 120 milliseconds, he had a green light, so with lightning-speed reaction - just as he's paid to do - he pulled away," Whitmarsh said.

"Those lights are controlled by a whole number of circumstances, like micro-switches and buttons that are around the car and a button was pressed and then released for about 120 milliseconds.

"These people are trying to do sub-two-second stops. There's a lot going on in that time and a lot of pressure on people. Human error resulted in a green light.

"It's one of those occasions when you wish your driver wasn't so quick off the mark..."

Asked by AUTOSPORT if McLaren may revise its procedures in light of the incident, Whitmarsh felt major changes would not be necessary.

"There are fail-safes in there," he said. "I think there are other things we can do, but at the end of the day this wasn't a system failure."

AUTOSPORT Malaysian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Malaysian GP race quotes: Pirelli

Previous article

Malaysian GP race quotes: Pirelli

Next article

Malaysian GP race quotes: Lotus

Malaysian GP race quotes: Lotus
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams McLaren
Author Edd Straw
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021