Jenson Button: “You’re not going to get past Michael…”

Jenson Button may have retained  a slender World Championship lead after finishing fifth in Spain, but after the race his frustration was all too clear. As Lewis Hamilton proved, the McLaren was capable of taking the fight to Red Bull in Barcelona, but Jenson was left stuck behind Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes.

Button’s race was spoiled after his clutch dragged at the stop, and the mechanics struggled to change the rear wheels, as they were moving. That allowed Schumacher to get past, and JB spent the rest of the race staring at a Petronas logo.

“We had a problem with the clutch dragging, so the pit stop took a lot longer, and that was it really,” said Button. “I didn’t really know where he [Michael] was on the outside of me into Turn One. He turned in, and if I didn’t back out of it, we would have crashed. So he didn’t really give a lot of room there. There you go, you’d think with his experience he would know.

“As we know it’s almost impossible to overtake round here, and he was moving about quite a bit, making sure I couldn’t get past. It was really frustrating. The pace of the car looked really good, but it doesn’t make any difference – you can’t overtake. When I was behind him I was trying so hard, everything to get past. I damaged my tyres quite badly at the front, and flat spotted at the rear, just with traction.

“Michael’s not silly, he knows where to put the car. On a circuit where it’s almost impossible to overtake, you’re not going to get past Michael. He was putting right on the inside, and I couldn’t get down on the outside, because he’d push me wide every time I did.”

Button’s prospects weren’t help by the fact that he lost his dashboard information almost from the start of the race.

“They’re asking me to do things on the steering wheel, and I can’t see if I’m doing the right thing or not. Plus trying to see the rev lights as well… You can’t see them, so you have to go by instinct. Most of the time I was pretty close, but I was hitting the rev limiter a lot, because when you’re behind someone you’re getting a tow and obviously you’re shifting in different places.

“It was a little bit tricky, and it kept flashing at me at random moments around the lap. Fifth place is OK, but it was a really frustrating race.”

Button said retaining his championship lead was only a small consolation: “Yeah, but it’s not the result we wanted, and it’s not the result we really deserved, because we were pretty quick.”

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Jenson Button: “You’re not going to get past Michael…”

  1. Albert

    Shumi clearly knew he was holding up Jenson. They were falling back by seconds every lap. As a former champion he should have had the smarts to let Jenson get on with his race!

    • This is racing people! if Jenson can’t overtake someone in a much slower car then that says more about Jenson then Schumacher

    • James

      Are you drunk? You do not win 7 world championships by letting whoever is behind you if he has a quicker car

    • Tony Clifton

      They were both racing for position. Why should Schumacher let him by ? Obviously you haven’t got a grasp on the whole motor racing thing.

  2. craig

    Spain is a horrible track to pass anyone, especially on someone who thinks driving into someone to win a championship is okay.

  3. mOods

    Are you for real 🙂 “Let Jenson get on with his race” Says a lot about his racecraft.Was this a race or a gentlemanly Sunday stroll? Serves Jenson right! He wasnt snickering and scoffing at Micheal after this race like in China now was he!!

  4. Piero

    @Albert …. What???? What’s the point of racing then????

    I think Jenson could have forced the issue if he wanted but decided not to take the risk and settle for 5th.

  5. Jonas

    @Albert …. what on earth are you talking about??!!!!!!

    Anyway … roll on Monaco.

  6. elephino

    Schumacher did a good job keeping Button behind him, but there were still one or two chances to get past.

    As for ” He turned in, and if I didn’t back out of it, we would have crashed. So he didn’t really give a lot of room there. There you go, you’d think with his experience he would know.” – that was the point of the move. He knows the other driver will back off. That is the experience showing.

  7. Albert

    May I ask those of you who didn’t agree with my thought to consider that when Shumi got past Jensen they were running a few seconds off the pace ( I forget the exact number) by the end of the race they were something like 20 seconds back.

    Is that racing? With nothing at stake…what’s the point of holding up a quicker competitor. If this had been a contest that mattered, I would agree with you 100%!

    But as Jonas said, Anyway…roll on to Monaco.

  8. Tony Clifton

    “With nothing at stake…what’s the point of holding up a quicker competitor” Are you serious ? It’s racing driving. If you don’t get it (and you very obviously don’t) ….then don’t watch it !

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