Button hits out at Super GT penalty that cost possible win shot

Jenson Button has hit out at the inconsistent penalty he received during the Fuji 500 Super GT race that prevented him from fighting for a maiden victory

Button hits out at Super GT penalty that cost possible win shot

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty for lapping a GT300 car under yellow flags during his first stint in Sunday's race that dropped him down the order.

Button and team-mate Naoki Yamamoto made up for the lost time by extending each of their next stints, taking advantage of their Honda NSX's superior Bridgestone rubber, and eventually finished fifth, 34 seconds down on the race-winning #36 TOM'S Lexus of Kazuki Nakajima and Yuhi Sekiguchi.

The 38-year-old's main frustration was the awarding of the stop/go - which cost him the best part of a minute - instead of a drivethrough penalty, like the one he received for the same offence at Suzuka last year.

It is worth noting that the overtake Button was penalised for in 2017 happened under safety car conditions rather than a standalone yellow flag.

"For me the frustrating thing was the penalty, it's so big," said Button.

"A drivethrough penalty, OK. But a 10-second stop/go... the strange thing is I did the same thing at Suzuka last year.

"I overtook under a yellow flag accidentally and I gave the position back, they gave me a penalty which [was a] drivethrough.

"And now we got a stop/go. Why does it change? Why is it not consistent? It's not correct.

"It needs to be consistent. If you overtake under a yellow flag, you get penalised. It doesn't change how you get penalised, it should be the same always.

"We lost 45 seconds to everyone, and we finished 34s behind the [winning] #36 car."

Pressed on whether he thought he could have finished on the podium or won the race, Button replied: "[It was] definitely possible. Who knows. It didn't happen."

With two podiums and only a single non-points finish, Button and Yamamoto sit joint second in the drivers' standings and only seven points behind championship leaders Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa.

With the next two rounds at Sugo and Autopolis expected to favour Honda, Button believes he has a "good chance" of winning the title in his debut season.

"It's always difficult because I feel there are many times we could have scored more points," he said.

"But with the way the championship is with weight restrictions, everyone is very similar with points because one car is fast because it's light.

"Super GT is very difficult - you just have to focus on every weekend, doing maximum attack.

"I still have to learn a lot but now I feel very confident with the car and myself. So Sugo hopefully will be a good race for us and then Autopolis is another good circuit for Honda.

"Motegi may be a little bit more difficult because Nissan is very fast. So we need good points at Sugo and Autopolis and [then] yes, we can fight for the championship."

shares
comments
Review: In-car 956 Duke Video DVD
Previous article

Review: In-car 956 Duke Video DVD

Next article

Review: No Limits DVD, the story of Alex Zanardi's 24 Hours of Spa

Review: No Limits DVD, the story of Alex Zanardi's 24 Hours of Spa
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021