Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Hard tyres baffle Button

McLaren-Mercedes struggled to settle upon a winning formula during an inconsistent opening session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Image: Luca Bruno/AP/Press Association Images

McLAREN-MERCEDES DRIVER Jenson Button may have set the pace during yesterday’s practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, but he ended the day in a state of confusion, at a loss to explain his poor performance on the harder of the team’s tyre options.

The Briton posted the fastest time in the afternoon session on Friday, finishing ahead of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, but his fastest times were all recorded while running on soft Pirelli tyres.

When it came to driving on the harder compound, he struggled to maintain his performance.

“It was a good afternoon, but a tough one, trying to understand the tyres,” Button said. “And we still don’t quite understand them, but the car seems to be work well on the soft tyres.

“On the hard tyre I just can’t get it working. I just can’t get the temperature into the tyres. I don’t know why it is but it’s something we need to sort out for Sunday.”

Button’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth fastest in second practice, also highlighted his dissatisfaction.

“I still smile, but it’s not been a great day,” Hamilton said. “We struggled a little bit with the set-up, but the upgrades have worked pretty well. We have good pace, in particular in the longer runs…

“We need to look at the data and try to find where the most serious issues are and try to correct that for tomorrow. The balance is very inconsistent so it’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly what we need to change to make it better.”

Hamilton and Button currently occupy second and fourth place, respectively, in the Formula One Driver’s Championship standings.

Iron man Rubiano solos to Giro success

Blue clay leaves top seeds seeing red

About the author:

TheScore Team

Read next: