Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, McLaren, 2013

Button says having more pit stops will suit his style

2013 F1 season

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Jenson Button believes the new tyres Pirelli are bringing for the 2013 season will suit his style of driving better.

“Hopefully we’ll be seeing more pit stops,” said Button at the launch of the team’s 2013 car. “I think that should work better for my style of driving.”

“The tyres are very different in 2013,” he added. “I’m sure they look pretty similar to most of us but the feeling is very different.

“The idea behind the tyre is to have a tyre that works a lot easier in terms of temperature and have a wider range and also a tyre that degrades more.”

Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, McLaren, 2013Button said the experience he had in 2012, when he struggled for several races with Pirelli’s compounds, had given him a better understanding of the tyres:

“Montreal was probably the worst for me. We went in a direction with the car that really wasn’t the right direction but I felt we needed to try something to really get the tyres working up to temperature which is something I’ve really struggled with and I have in my whole career in Formula One.

“When the tyre is on a knife’s edge I kind of struggle to get it working. And it was a mistake. But we know that now. Lewis had a very good race in Canada and won the race, we had a terrible race.

“So you get a good understanding of where you can take the car and where you can’t take the car and I don’t feel that this car will be any different in terms of the direction and the feel of the limits of the car.”

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Keith Collantine
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42 comments on “Button says having more pit stops will suit his style”

  1. JB says they’ll suit his driving style, but if he doesn’t complain in some way about front locking (massive or otherwise) at some stage during the weekend in Melbourne I’ll eat my hat!

    1. I second that

    2. Certainly a tyre that heats up easily will suit Button a lot more than one that takes some good working first.
      But I am sure Button will still find a way to satisfy us :-)

    3. i think it will be even better for Kimi.

      We all saw in hungary and abu dhabi how kimi kept clocking fastest lap on worn out tyres while the rest pit for fresh tyre. And that’s with 2 years break from the sport.

      Beware Jenson LOL

  2. As long as you’re not stopping in other people’s boxes, Jenson.

    1. …the great thinker and the sharpest mind in F1. lol

  3. Why would more pit stops work better for a mans who’s driving style is gentle on tyres?

    1. Erm….. because he’ll do less pit stops than his competitors?

      1. looking at last years’ data Perez is probably the one who could say that not Jenson.

    2. Because he will have to make less stops than the others, since he is gentle on tires.

      1. So it’s not a myth?

  4. I’d much prefer seeing less pit stops, I want to watch the cars out on track racing rather than sitting stationary in the pits 2-3+ times a race.

    1. more pitstops means that we will get to see more mistakes. Exciting

  5. I think Button is really hoping the tires make a difference. Some of his performances in 2012 were simply shocking, Canada & Monaco for example. My main worry for Mclaren is their qualifying this year. In 2012 Hamilton was on fire and always looked the most likely to challenge red bull for pole. Sure, Jenson shone on occasions but on average id say he was easy a few 10ths slower than Hamilton. Its yet to be seen how Perez will do.. But do I think he will out qualify Button ? Not for the first few races, but I feel he will challenge more later in the year. My main worry for Perez is how he will cope racing wheel to wheel with Webber, Vettel, Button, Alonso, possibly Hamiltion ( depending on merc speed) Some of his moves last year were very ambitious and somewhat silly. Sure he got some podiums but these were more strategy based than wheel to wheel racing. I know it required him to be fast, which he really can be, but still feel some of his best drives were due to the tyres than him out racing others. On the occasions he did go wheel to wheel with top drivers he made mistakes, Hamilton in Suzuka and Alonso in Malaysia spring to mind most but there may well be more.

    Overall I can’t wait for the 2013 season to get started ! I also hope merc and lotus can really break the top three this year ! Just imagine a top 10 separated by 0.2 or 0.3 seconds ! A driver who has a real shot at pole could end up 10th if they make even a tiny error, Sounds fantastic to me !!

  6. i think, it will suit Alonso’s style….as the first part of the last season tell us.
    Last season in the first part were quite a good nr of pits. When a race has a big nr of pits, drivers have to drive intelligent…and Alonso is the best in that….also button is good but im talking about winning the WDC.

  7. I thought less pit stops would help the ‘great tyre conserver’ (lol)

    1. Other way around. He will make less stops and will make his stops later (assuming he is still the ‘conserver’.

      He will also have the freshest tires at the end of the race – since he can wait longer to pit.

    2. Other way around. He will make less stops than the others and will make them later – assuming he is still the ‘conserver’.

      He also has the potential to have the freshest tires at the end since he can pit later.

    3. Other way around.

      If he is the ‘conserver’, he will make less stops and make his stops later. This is a huge advantage. He will also have fresher tires at the end when the cars are lighter, since he stops later.

      1. sorry for the multiple posts…a bit trigger happy i guess

    4. What made you think that?

      The biggest payoff from conserving tyres comes when you can maintain the pace while doing one stop less than your competitors – which is harder to do if degradation is low anyway and there are less stops in the race.

  8. Wasn’t he the tyre enchanter, the guy who could save tyres and take advantage of them?
    Every year something “suit” him better…

    1. This does suit him better, he can make less and later stops. He can turn as quick a lap as a guy like Lewis, but Lewis chews his tires up quicker.

      If the tires lasted the entire race, Lewis could just turn fast laps the whole time and beat Jenson. If Lewis has to pit 3 times, Jenson might be able to ‘enchant’ his tires and only pit twice.

      1. From what we say last year, Lewis did not need to stop any more than Jenson, intact it was Jenson in some races that stopped more times, the tally is 41 pit stops for JB to 36 for HAM.

        1. In fact last year was quite particular, you had to be in a certain T° range to have the best out of the tyre (performance and degradation) … Now Button expect he won’t have to change his style to have the tyre in the range and could conserve them longer

        2. @Xusen, some of those stops were to change “cold” tyres.

        3. It was a general example of one reason why Jenson thinks it’s better for him. Not a comparison of drivers.

          Also what @jeanrien, Button thinks he will be able to heat these new tires properly. That’s probably the biggest difference for him over last year.

          1. that should read “Also what @jeanrien said,”

      2. @mfdb yeah, but then if you look at the 2012 season as a whole, Hamilton was miles ahead of Button in terms of performance, wasn’t many weekends he got out performed by Button was there? So whether Hamilton chews his tires quicker or not is besides the point, he couldn’t get the same performance from the car Hamilton could bar for a few occasions (Spa being the main 1 and Australia, wouldn’t count Brazil, Lewis was ahead when he crashed out with Hulkenberg)

        1. It was just an example to explain why Jenson thinks more stops suits him. I wasn’t trying to compare the 2 drivers. It’s far more complex than just their tire degradation and I agree that Lewis has proven to be generally faster then Jenson. However, I do think Lewis is also harder on the tires. One could argue that with more stops Lewis can be even harder on the tires, thus turning faster laps. He may stop once more than a few drivers, but would probably be consistent with the majority of the drivers.

  9. How long before he complains of no grip and dives in for a pit stop whilst Perez continues pounding the circuit unabated with the same car and same tires and same ….. you get the same picture

  10. I think a lot of people are missing the point looking at the comments…

    Anyhow, he’s admitted his weaknesses pretty plainly which is a lot more than other drivers. And maybe he does have a narrower band of performance in his driving but he’ll only continue to tell his engineers if he doesn’t feel right in the car. Haters gonna hate, but that’s what any driver should do. Even last year when he apparently struggled with the tyres, he still won convincingly on pace alone on the opening race and at Spa.

  11. The thing I’ve never understood about Button’s driving is this: like he said in the interview here, he’s struggled his entire career, certainly well back into the Honda days, with trying to keep tyre temperatures high enough to get the best performance out of them. The mid-part of the 2012 season was the most severe case of this, of course.

    But when it starts to rain on a dry track, or when a wet track starts to dry out, Jenson has more speed and control on slicks than any other driver on the grid, and has won several races by staying out when others were forced to pit for inters or by gaining the benefit of having fitted slicks first.

    Isn’t that the single time you’d think it would be hardest to keep the tyres up to temperature, and that getting heat into them would be crucial? Maybe it’s that nobody can keep tyres up to temperature in those conditions, and Button’s just got more experience than everybody else at driving on tyres that are too cold. But it doesn’t make much sense to me.

    1. Completely agree!
      I am a fan of Button, for sure… But this fact really is a blunder :P

  12. I think the myth of Jenson Button tires-whisperer was dispelled last year. The data don’t show this. If anything, his inability to manage tire temperature led to some shocking results last year. If you compare the number of times he had “no grip” couldnt set up the car, etc., to the times he signficantly outlasted Hamilton on tire consumption you will find his tire-management a net disaster.

    1. +1

      Even his win in Aus 2010 when he was suppose to have made a great tyre change choice, was force upon him because he lost multiple place at the start, then burnt out his wet tyres. He could either stay on wets and be way down the field, or gamble on drys… the gamble worked out.

      But people love myths in F1, so

    2. Just as the myths surrounding Schumacher went out of the window, eh?
      I think last year magnified the simple fact that while F1 is partly about being able to adjust, it’s also about preferences.

  13. So Button indirectly confessed that he preffers beating his rivals through rubber-saving strategies rather than raw speed? Then he’d better be watching his young team-mate as Perez proved to be more of a tyre-tamer than him last season.

  14. I think Button’s line of reasoning is sound. Tyres that warm up quickly should hide his self-confessed weakness of getting the tyres up to temperature, and high degradation should see some of his rivals start to struggle with tyres earlier than him.

    I’m still a tiny bit skeptical he can challenge for the championship. Alonso and Vettel have both displayed incredible consistency in speed and race craft over the last two seasons, whereas with Jenson there are quite often little problems holding him back, both in qualifying and when making his way through traffic.

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