Button “very happy” with second place

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Jenson Button says he’s happy to be second on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix after choosing to use a high downforce rear wing at Monza.

He said:

First I want to say a big thank you to the team. We came here not sure which direction to take in terms of downforce and efficiency.

Our side definitely made the right decision to run high downforce with what everyone calls the F-duct.

In Q3 you’ve just got to push a little bit more. But as Fernando says sometimes you push and go slower. Out of Ascari I got a bit of oversteer and ran off the circuit.

But I’m very happy to be second. This is the first time I’ve been on the front row this year.
Jenson Button

Although his lower top speed could leave him vulnerable on the straight he believes he’s got a good set-up for the race:

You’ve got more downforce so you can brake later and carry more speed through corners. You’ve got to make the time up in the corners, you’ve got to be aggressive and push the car.

It work in qualifying, we weren’t 100% sure it was going to. But for the race car I think we’re looking good.
Jenson Button

2010 Italian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Button “very happy” with second place”

  1. And so Button should be. I’ll probably never think he’s as good as Hamilton but he’s still capable of doing things that make me ever more ashamed for not appreciating him last year :P

    1. I have the feeling this is exactly the kind of race Button wants. Having it a bit tight with top speed, but solid as a rock under braking and in the corners/chicanes.

      It might be a very nice battle for the podium positions.

    2. Button may not be a Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel level of racer, but he makes up for it in ways that those drivers can’t by having excellent judgement wen it counts. We saw it with his tire strategy in Australia, and I think we’ve seen it again here. Keith said on Twitter that his hunch was that Button knew he couldn’t beat Hamilton on the same equipment, so he went out on a limb to see if running the F-duct might just pay off and give him an advantage. Clearly it did, and he made the right call, where Hamilton relied on the team to make the decision for him (which turned out probably to be the wrong call). Who knows though, with times as tight as they were in Q3 it could all just come down to luck. In any case, I think Button is where he is because of his unique strengths as a driver.

      1. Australia is a bit of a myth. He was forced to change tyres because his were worn down. He made them work for the rest of the race, but so did the 3 guys who finished behind him. And if Vettel’s brakes hadn’t gone, it wouldn’t have been as great a result.

        Few seem to remember that in Malaysia he tried another early stop and he lost out to Massa and nearly to Alonso too.

        Button’s racecraft and intelligence are top-class, but his gambles aren’t always results of prescience! Today, I think it was simply a matter of being happier with the car, and we know that Button;s always good when he likes the car.

  2. From his expression in the press conference one could be forgiven for thinking he’d won the race!

    1. He looked really smug and pleased, didn’t he! And very confident of being able to win this – I think it made Alonso a bit nervous :-p

      1. I think he looked smug because he is ahead of HAM for the first time in ages.

        You can see the grin on his face get even bigger when he said our side of the garage got it right

        1. Well last time was in Germany, 3 races ago… that is not THAT long ago…

          1. :D Fair enough it just seems like his looking for a moral victory in the team so his title bid don’t fall away.

            Now team orders are legal

        2. And it was again partly because of a different choise his side of the garage made. It is exactly what he needed after Spa to get back in the middle of the WDC fight.

  3. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens in the first few laps tomorrow. Is Jenson going to slip backwards – with other cars getting into his slip-stream on the straights – and have to fight his way up again?

    If that does happen, will the extra downforce be able to save his tyres enough that he can overcome the straight-line speed disadvantage later on?

    Since no one can predict how it’s going to play out, hopefully it will add some more excitement to the race.

    1. Actually, I think the downforce will help him earlier in the race rather than later. It should make the heavier (with fuel) car easier to handle in the turns.

      1. Not to mention that he can put the power down sooner off the line.

  4. Just leaves me wondering how the engineers were not sure which was the faster package with 0.5 seconds between the two cars! Are we being told Hamilton’s engineers are just daft – 0.5 second is pretty a big gap for them not to notice during practise!

    1. Hamilton made mistakes on both flying laps in Q3, there isn’t a 0.5 gap in car performance it just didn’t work out for him (over driving?). Its about the 6th race so far this season Hamilton has been slower in Q3 than Q2.

      Great laps from Button and Alonso

      1. The setup as such is pretty much the same. Only what Button has is easier to drive through the tricky bits, while Lewis has enormous speed but is sliding through the tight parts of the track. It is what he likes, taking a bit of risks and being right on the edge, but there’s a higher chance of mistakes, and Lewis made those on his lap.

    2. The difference in practise was 0.0052 of a second, if I remeber correctly. Button clearly nailed his lap and Hamilton didnt.

      1. Correction, 0.056s gap, which is still devastatingly close.

    3. nah i think Hamilton is thinking more about the race, he now has the top speed and if he can get close enough to anyone in front of himself he will fly buy.
      will Button be able to hold Massa out is another story.

  5. I watched the practises but missed the qualifying but was expecting that because of the closeness of the setups, there would be maybe 0.1 to 0.2 between the cars – that would justify the engineers’ assertion about the setups being close with the balance being accounted for by driving errors and traffic. But 0.5 seconds! That is a whole red-bull flexi wing sort of difference between the two cars – i cant just see how that can be missed by the engineers because even if you account for circumstance during quali, it would still be about 0.3 seconds between the two.

    And now Lewis is whining about the car sliding around and not having downforce – why now? Couldn’t he pick these issues up during practise – i feel abit misinformed by the McLaren team. And of course no way the choice between f-duct and no f-duct could have been upto the drivers to make – this is making engineering stuff choices not making decisions about changeable weather conditions. Will be interesting to see how the races pans out.

    1. McLaren are well aware of the pros and cons of both setups (although no one can predict performance to the last degree). Lewis just failed to nail it on his qualifying lap and – with hindsight – realizes he might have avoided issues of a lack of grip with the f-duct setup. Qualifying P5 was more a matter of execution than tactics. Although Jenson and Fernando are favourites for the win he’s still in a strong position.

    2. Hamilton made mistakes on both flying laps in Q3, there isn’t a 0.5 gap in car performance

  6. If Hamilton thinks it’s sliding about a bit now, wait until he gets around 150 kgs of fuel onboard, and on the same tyres too!

    Button could win this, barring mechanical failure and stray Red Bull’s. First corner should be incredible!

    1. Indeed, looking forward to an exiting tactical race from Button, and a racers race from Lewis.

  7. Whats the chance of ‘Crash’ Vettel causing a safety car at the first ?

    1. Vettel says here he will be calm and will not seek to do anything dramatic…and interestingly he thinks Hamilton has the best chance of overtaking the front runners since he has the fastest car on the long straights ..I agree with Vettel. however any crash on the first corner will be bad for every one.

  8. Beautiful decision & made it worked perfectly now lets wait & see whether he can turn this into a podium if not a race victory.

  9. Hamilton says he must beat Weber on the race as regardless of all others in front of him on the grid wining the race …none of them will score enough points to leap frog Hamilton on the WDC points score since only Weber has the capacity to do damage if he out scores Hamilton at Monza


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