Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Button to forget Monaco blip

Jenson Button
Jenson Button

Jenson Button has forgiven the mechanic who cost him the lead of the Formula One world championship following talks at the McLaren factory last week.

Button spent two days at McLaren's Technology Centre in Woking in the wake of the Monaco Grand Prix, during which time a post-mortem was held into the mistake that sparked his retirement on lap three.

It was nothing more than simple human error and forgetfulness that resulted in a foam bung being left in a sidepod over the radiator, causing the engine to overheat.

Although Button had no chance of repeating his 2009 victory after starting from eighth on the grid, the error certainly robbed the 30-year-old of a handful of precious points.

But appreciating it is a team game and he has made his own fair share of blunders in the past, Button knew exactly how the guy felt, making it easier to offer sympathy than chastise.

“The guy was devastated, and in a way I felt sorry for him because we all make mistakes,” Button said.

“It wasn't just a mistake, it was mis-communication more than anything else.

“That bung shouldn't have been there in the first place. He wasn't looking to take it out because it wasn't supposed to be there.

“When you know you have to take it out, you take it out, but when you don't think it's there, and it is, it's a difficult one.

“Especially at a point when it was pretty busy. Prior to the race it's a relaxed couple of hours for me, but for them it's non-stop preparing the car for the race.

“It's a funny situation because it's a mistake you think will never happen, but they do, and you have to put it behind you.

“I'm sure the person who did make the mistake will never ever do that again. It won't happen again, I'm sure of that.”

Admitting to having a chat with him, Button added: “We just found each other and we ended up talking. I'm not one for pointing fingers, especially when you are at such a big team. We've 700 people, and if one person makes a mistake, that's it.

“Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's someone else, but it happens and sometimes you have to think 's**t, it happened' and move on.

“I've been off the circuit before and cost a team good points, and you're devastated because the guys have worked so hard all weekend, and then that happens.”

Although Button split with long-term girlfriend Jessica Michibata shortly after the race in Monaco, he yesterday put that behind him by finishing quickest in practice for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix.

Button narrowly edged out Red Bull's Mark Webber, the winner of the last two races, by 0.098secs with a lap of one minute 28.280secs that was marginally quicker than last year's pole.

However, after winning last season's race here, Button has warned against the prospect of Red Bull's qualifying domination coming to an end today following their run of six in a row.

“My car is good, but I don't think the Red Bulls are showing their hand just yet, so don't get too excited about our pace today,” said Button. “The Red Bull is still the car to beat.”

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