Jenson Button feels McLaren could have beaten Mercedes had he not been forced to retire following a pit stop problem in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
“It’s easy for me to say I would have been on the podium because we didn’t finish,” said Button after the race. “I’m sure a lot of people would disagree with me but I think we had a chance to fight with Mercedes.”
“We had one less pit stop to do,” he pointed out, “I don’t know what would have happened but I think at worst it would have been fifth. We could have pushed the Mercedes, they were fighting among themselves. It would have been interesting to see where we would have been.”
Button said the MP4-28’s pace was “a good improvement from the last race”.
“Only a week ago, we never would have thought we’d be fighting for fifth or a little bit better,” he said. “So there are positives but it’s very tough when you have an issue like this because it’s a lot of points to throw away.”
“Even being fifth, it’s ten points. So that’s tough but the positive are that we are improving. I can see that we’ll be even more competitive in China.”
“I think we’ve made some good improvements,” Button added. “This circuit has helped us a little bit because it is smoother than Albert Park. But in general we’ve been trying things and trying to understand the way the aero’s working. I think we have a much better understanding now and we put the car where it’s working at its best.
“I think we’re getting there. I don’t think we’ll have such a big step as we’ve had from the first race to this race in China but every little bit will count. Chance of finishing very high here today, hopefully we’ll do that again in China.”
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Horner: Vettel and Webber have a “healthy rivalry”
- Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend
- Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again
- Malaysia retirement no concern for Alonso
- Massa: Red Bull’s team orders not “intelligent”
Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei