• Belgian Grand Prix

Third 'reasonable' for battling Button

ESPNF1 Staff
August 28, 2011 « Webber praises team for second place | »
Button felt that he, not Vettel, could have been the race winner but for a misunderstanding during qualifying © Getty Images
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Jenson Button said he was a relieved man to be able to escape the opening lap melee with minimal damage to his car before an effective strategy enabled him to finish on the podium.

Button started 13th on the grid after misunderstanding he had run out of laps during qualifying and was also hit during an opening lap collision with Adrian Sutil. But after pitting for a new nose cone, the McLaren driver fought his way back through the field to finish an impressive third behind the Red Bulls.

"It was a very messy start to the race," said Button. "You always hope when you're that far back and have a quick car you're going to get an easy first lap, but it wasn't the case. In turn one I think I got hit by Sutil in the rear and lost half my rear wing end plate and then coming out of turn one there was mayhem with bits everywhere and something went through my front wing and took my wing mirror off as well.

"I said to the guys there was a lot of damage and I have to come in and get a new front wing at least but they said I had to wait to make any strategy work so I waited until lap five, pitted for the new front wing and ten just flat out from there on in. It was tough because everyone had chunking issue on the inside front tyre or front left tyre so it was very tricky to know how hard to push, but a very lively race and a lot of fun."

Although a 1-2 finish for rivals Red Bull means the title is all but over, Button believes that McLaren are in a stronger position than ever to challenge for race wins for the remainder of the season.

"We all go out for the win but third is reasonable from where we started. It was just a misunderstanding yesterday that cost us a lot of points. It's just little mistakes that have stopped us winning races because the car is the best it has been all year, I'm very confident in the car and feel the best I ever have done in Formula One. So we can have very good races from here and hopefully Monza is one that will be competitive."

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