Jenson Button has a lot of catching up to do after losing most of the second practice session in Singapore.
Button locked up and ran wide at Turn 14 early in the session. Although he didn’t hit anything, a gearbox glitch meant that he was not able to reverse out of trouble and get going again, so he had to abandon the car. He ran only 10 laps in that session, compared with the 33 of Sebastian Vettel, and admits he now has a lot of work to do in order to improve the car.
“I locked up into – I don’t know what corner it is, I don’t want to know any more – and just kept out of the barriers,” said Button. “I selected reverse and started to go back slowly and then I didn’t have any drive in reverse. I tried to turn the car around, but there wasn’t enough room.
“Then I tried to go backwards again, and there was no reverse. I’m guessing that something’s not working correctly. I didn’t do much running today, I only ran the prime tyre, and didn’t have a great set-up, so I was really disappointed not to do any more running, because I couldn’t improve it. We have some ideas for tomorrow for what we can do to the car. It’s only an hour, but we’ll make some good progress.”
Button said he learned a lot by studying what everyone else was doing, and he made some interesting observations about tyres.
“I was with my engineers watching everyone running round, and obviously we have the data from Lewis’s car. Sebastian and Red Bull are very fast, and Ferrari are fast over a long run as well.
“I think looking at the TV and looking at the times I think everyone is going to struggle with tyres in the race. It seems that people are overheating tyres even in three laps. You could say the tyres are maybe a little bit too soft for round here, but then again you don’t have the grip either on lap one. It’s going to be a tough race for everyone around here. We’re all in the same boat, we just have to make the best of what we have.”