Button pressed on pace issue

Former world drivers’ champion Jenson Button admits his poor performance in the Spanish GP on Sunday has raised concerns over the pace of his McLaren car (World Drivers’ Championship outright – Jenson Button 6/1).

Button could only manage a ninth place finish – a place and seven seconds behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton who started 14 places behind Button at the back of the grid.

Hamilton was forced to start from the back as a punishment for a fuel irregularity in qualifying, the 2008 world champion had thought he was set to start on pole only for his times to be discounted.

McLaren have arguably lost considerable points already this season due to avoidable errors, such as Hamilton’s in qualifying for the Spanish GP, but Button admits his key concern is the pace of his car.

”The most important thing is to understand why I didn’t have any pace over the weekend on low and high fuel,” said Button.

”Even if qualifying doesn’t go well, normally we can get some good points in the race, but I couldn’t look after my tyres and I didn’t have any pace. It’s something that’s a concern.

”My fastest lap of the race was 2.6 secs slower than the quickest overall, which is just strange, and I don’t understand why that is.

”And it wasn’t one end of the car I struggled with, it was both. I’ve never been in a position like that. It was very extreme.”

However, Button believes that there will be other teams with similar concerns after the first five races of the campaign.

For just the second time in Formula 1 history five different teams have won the opening five GPs, and Button believes a number of teams will be questioning why the open early stages of the campaign has been so open (Constructors’ Championship outright – McLaren 4/5f).

He added: ”The Red Bulls did a better job at the weekend than us in terms of points, but still they weren’t quick when you compare them to Williams, Sauber, Lotus and Ferrari.

”Five different teams winning five different races, we really don’t know what’s going on, and I think that’s the same up and down the pit lane.”

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